I had inklings that I was gay during my early pre-school days, but the moment that I knew I was different from most other girls occurred in grade 3. The story itself is kind of interesting, but will take longer than I have to type right now.
I finally came out to my family when I was 17, and then to my friends when I was 18. Given how Pentecostal and judgemental my family is, I am surprised that I told them first. People shocked me- both good and bad, in how they responded to my declaration of self. Still, to this day (almost 15 years after coming out) I have moments of frustration with the insensitive things my family says.
I try to live authentically. I always have. It certainly hasn’t been the easiest way through life, but when I put my head down at night, I am comforted by the meaningfulness of my journey.
I feel the same about my self. I am a good person, and while I have faults, I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong, and am constantly trying to improve. I am also brave– not jump off a cliff into unknown waters brave, but even braver– visibly queer brave.