Growing up in the South, I’ve felt like I’ve had to conform to what is ‘considered’ right. To me, I’ve always known I’ve felt like an outsider. Not in the sense that I couldn’t make friends and relate to them, instead as “why do I feel this way when I should feel like everybody else?” Because of that, I lived my life day to day, lie after lie; I would tell myself, as a varsity athlete, that I cannot like my same sex. Waking up everyday telling myself “I’m not gay because people tell me that being gay is wrong.”
Even from an early age I had been told that I should grow up with the American dream: a big house, picket-fence, wife, and children. But it all seemed surreal, in that I could only pray every night for my life to become easier and in return become accepted as normal for once.
But who in fact defines normal? We are free to be what whatever we chose to be and how to do it. I was led down a rough path for many years until I began to figure out who I am and how I’ve become stronger in spite of the past. In retrospect it is better to be happy with whom you are rather than try to be something you are not.