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"Coming out and showing your true self to people, at least in my experience, is a very intimate process. I told my best friend Vicki. Two days later she called me and said, 'You gotta tell someone else. I cannot carry this alone. I need someone to process with.' We picked this friend of ours who had also been our teacher. I called and came out to her so Vicki had someone to talk to.

Then I literally scheduled meetings at work. I brought in people and told them one by one by one. The first people I told at work were gay. I called in my gay friends and got all those alliances, and then it just started to become very different. Very real.

When I would call people back home – like my college roommates, or my best friend from high school, or my teacher from high school, or friends from church – it was shocking to people.

I certainly didn’t have anybody telling me it was okay.

My Texas people never said, 'Oh, yes, I always knew.' That was not happening. But that was happening in Los Angeles. That was happening with all my friends at work. With anyone that was in my daily life with me, the response was, 'Oh my God, I'm so glad you're finally telling me.' Because they had been walking my life with me.

My relationship with my brother changed immensely. When I came out to him, he was like, 'If there's ANY way you can figure out how to NOT do this, try. BUT I’M WITH YOU. I'm here.' And that was enough for me.

I got a lot closer to my dad. My mom and I still struggle. We always will. It's been so, so, so many years now that it doesn't affect me the way it used to. She doesn't hold the power over me she used to, nor I over her, which is good for both of us. She and my dad are closer because of it. They've both said that to me. Closer because they had each other to lean on.

I think there's something beautiful about that. It's imperfect, for sure, and it's got good and bad days, but all of it is preferred for me. Every bit of it is preferred."


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