I was sitting in church thinking about my relationships and how my life is about to change. Soon I will be moving on in many areas of my life. I will be moving to New York, moving in with my partner, and graduating from college. I’ve been analyzing all the different relationships I have in my life. The healthy ones, and the unhealthy ones. Noticing how each and every one one of them is changing, whether for the better or not.
With a week before I move I feel a change and shift more now then ever. As my relationship with my partner grows stronger, my old friendships crumble, and my new friendships try to hang on.
It was a year ago that I came out to my mother and father. My friends at school knew before that. However, since my public coming out things have greatly changed. Maybe not in the way you might think. My mother has been amazingly supportive and I see her and my father trying daily. (I appreciate this more than they could ever know.) However, it is in small friendships I once had that change has truly happened. Most of my old friendships, mostly the ones at church, have fallen apart.
This past year has been incredibly tough. I’ve gotten harassed at school, been yelled at, called horrible names that I don’t even want to repeat. I’ve gotten a few death threats when what I’ve needed was a friend. So when it came to church and those friends and friendships started changing, I had to back away because, personally, I couldn’t deal with that form of rejection.
All rejection is hard. However, when going through a hard time it is worse to be alone. Yes, I have the love of my life and our future together, I have great parents who love me and care about me, I even have some great friends who I am sure I’ll keep in touch with, but when you walk into a place that preaches love and acceptance and you come face to face with rejection and quiet denial it becomes hard to have a desire to keep going to that place any longer.
It saddens me. In all reality it breaks my heart that people who I experienced life with, grew in our beliefs with, and brought the love of God to others with are so ready to turn their backs when they think something has changed.
I have a note for everyone. If someone comes out…they don’t change. They have always been this person. They always will be. Do not blame them and their courage to be true to who they are for your lack of understanding and your fear.
I encourage every individual who is struggling with their identity to accept themselves for who they are. That is the first step to happiness no matter who you are, what your background is, or whom you love.
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