I felt lost for so many years and had no idea who I really was. I grew up in a place where being gay was the worst thing a person could be. I felt invalidated as a human, demonized, and like I would never be able to live my life as the real me. Because of this, I shut down. I stopped exploring things that made me happy, and instead, pretended to be happy. I lived life undercover as someone I wasn’t, and that meant forgetting about the real me, my real interests, my real talents, my real purpose. But I did what I had to do to keep me safe at the time. When I came out, I was not accepted in my family, and that was one of the darkest times of my life. But it was a gift to be able to break away and start the process of discovering my true self. I shed all the things that I had tricked myself into believing that I was and began to explore what excites and enriches me—the real me. What a blessing it is to know oneself and feel secure and safe. What a blessing it is to know that it can only get better. - @jordie.kyle

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