Growing up in Alaska, I did not know that being a lesbian was even a thing until I started middle school, and when I did learn what it was, I was told it was weird, it was bad, and it was something I should avoid. I first started questioning my sexuality during seventh grade, but I didn’t come out until I was well into my sophomore year. My parents were always accepting, but I was afraid of what other people would say. In some ways, I still am. I dealt with this fear by surrounding myself with the LGBTQ+ community, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have never found people more supportive and kind and caring than those I’ve met in the LGBTQ+ community.
For those of you who are still afraid, all I have to say is that you should find your people. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are and do the same for them, because when you have people close to you who believe in you and are inspired by you, no one can hurt you.
Also, those of you who are in a position to help others, do so. If you need help, ask for it. I was gifted with an incredibly supportive family and because of that I was able to help the people in our community who needed it. Nothing in my life has made me happier than being an active member of the LGBTQ+ community, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.