"I spent the first 22 years of my life growing up in Texas, in that religious environment, with people just trying to be good people. I spent the last 34 years of my life out on the West Coast – also where a lot of people are just trying to be good people. Both of those entities really ridiculing and criticizing the other. It’s an interesting experience to have so deeply come from both now. It’s difficult.
One thing I have learned in coming out and being transparent and honest with everyone is that life isn't neat. You can't put it in a bottle and merchandise it and sell it to people like, 'This is the way you do it right' – but I was raised to believe that. That if you behave a certain way and bottle up the potion correctly and drink just the right amount each day and walk this way and hold your arm that way and tiptoe that way, that you will lead a perfect life. You'll be happy all the time. You can do it.
What I've loved learning through the messiness of coming out and figuring out I was gay is that nobody has it figured out.
Kids who are struggling with this issue shouldn’t feel like they have to twist themselves in such a ball to please everyone. Once you rip that band-aid off and start dealing with people in a real way, you let people surprise you. That's the beautiful thing. That's the best part – you find out who your real friends are.
That was my battle for years, was figuring out that being myself was the high road, was the right path, was the Holy path. It was not rejecting who I was. That's been a long, long time coming – really long. I don't feel like a different person having come out. I actually feel more myself.
I’ve learned a lot about my journey in hindsight. What I've really gotten clear on in the last couple of years of my life is that I’M the one who had an issue with being gay. You can put it on your parents, and you can put it on others and blame other people, but my journey has been ME being okay with it."