Growing Up Around Acceptance
Growing up, my next door neighbors, Steve and Paul lived together and it was never anything weird to me. I had a feeling they were gay and when I was older my mom told me they were. It made no difference to me if they were gay or straight. They were still my family's favorite neighbors and best friends. While I was in high school a lot of my friends turned out to be LGBTQ and for the most part I found out after we all graduated because the school we went to was way conservative. I remember hearing that one of my friends was openly gay all of a sudden so I FB chat with him and straight up asked him if he was gay and he was silent and then said yes. Then he asked me "Is it okay with you that I'm gay?" I decided to be a smarta$$ and tell him "Only if it's okay with you that I'm straight." haha...and he laughed it off and was happy to be out. Most of my closest friends are LGBTQ and it doesn't matter to me because they are my friends. My friendships were never based on who we love, it was based on trust and loyalty to one another. I have to admit, some of my friends had my head spinning when they came out because there were some of my guy friends that I never thought would be gay. So it was a little awkward at first because one of my guy friends was just starting to come out to people and when I'd talk to him about his boyfriend he'd get very weird about it and try to change the subject even though we were having a private conversation. He grew up in a very conservative (for Prop 8) household so he still hasn't come out to most people, especially not his parents because he feels ashamed of it and afraid of what they'll think. But I let him know on a regular basis that the people who matter will accept and love him for who he is. I just want others to know that no matter what a good portion of society says, you are perfect the way you are and you deserve every happiness to love the one you want to love.