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Coming Out Stories

Shelby Burns 

My coming out story was not simple, clean-cut, or easy to endure, but it was incredibly worth it. I have been out and identifying as queer (I don’t see gender as a defining factor in who I’m attracted to), for only about 5 years now. When I was younger, I never understood why or how gender mattered when it came to having a crush, I just liked who I liked, and that was something that was not easy to explain to my Catholic family. My grandmother was convinced it was “just a phase,” my extended family told me they could love me but they didn’t have to “agree with my life choices,” and I only had one parent at the time (who lived across the country). And still, I have had a much easier path than so many other LGBTQ+ siblings. Coming out taught me so many valuable lessons about myself and staying true to my beliefs. I have learned to be brave, to be honest, to be unfiltered. Most importantly, I have learned that chosen, blended families are the best families. No matter how corny and trite it sounds, it does get better. Hurt heals, bridges mend or new ones are built, love is found in people that are more like you than you ever imagined. Life goes on and it gets so much better.