On May 30, 2008, I came out to my mother.
It was an extremely painful day, and the days and weeks that followed (not to mention the 2-3 years that led up to it) were almost unbearable. The details of this struggle are irrelevant to this current post, but I am able and willing to share them if anyone feels that hearing my own “It Gets Better” story… please let me know and that will be another post. But for now, suffice it to say that I struggled a lot internally and externally through almost constant fights with my mother.
On June 4, 2008, just a few short days after finally coming out, I performed at my choir’s “Broadway Night.” The song I chose to sing was entitled “Who Will Love Me As I Am,” and it was definitely autobiographical at that moment in my life. I felt unloved and unwanted. I thought of myself as an outcast, and I believed that I was a disappointment.
Now, I look back on this pivotal moment in my life, and I am filled with nothing but pride. The video of my performance is posted below. If you watch me, my body language screams insecurity. At 2:23, my voice shakes. It is especially obvious at that moment in the clip how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin.
But when I look watch that clip today, I see something more than fear. I see courage. Yes, my fear is palpable. But I got up there and sang anyways. I did what I thought I could not do. It may seem like a small act, but standing on that stage singing those words with my parents in the audience was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I have never once regretted it.
No matter how painful that was, I am, in the end, grateful. I would not be the person I am today without that time in my life.