Hey, my name is Naquan. I am 18 years old. I came out officially on October, 24th 2015 and this is my story.
I grew up in a religious family. I always thought that my family wouldn’t accept me. I was bullied in school and sometimes even felt my family suspected I was gay. I thought about killing myself, or running away all the time. I called hotlines constantly, I just felt like I had no one to talk to and they were the only ones who would listen. I hated myself, I hated everything, and I thought who I was could be changed, but it couldn’t. And trying to live a double life was destroying me inside.
But that changed and I learned to embrace myself, because it’s just who I am and who I am is amazing.
So that’s what I did, I embraced myself and I found the courage to tell my family. They were more accepting than what I thought, some even said they already knew. When I came out I felt like the biggest weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like I was free, I had been a prisoner within myself for so long. I can’t say I really had ever felt happier than I did when I did decided to come out. It was like I was a completely different person.
I had this preconceived notion that my life would be over if anyone found out about my sexuality. My life was far from over, if anything, I had just begun a new journey. My family accepted me with open arms, really now that I think about it, the only person who didn’t accept me was myself––and that was the hardest part.
I want to tell the all those going through something similar that you are perfect the way you are, you don’t need to change. If you are struggling with who you are inside, I hope that one day you can learn to love yourself. My coming out made me stronger and more confident person. Stay true to who you are! And keep in mind, the people who truly love you will always love you regardless of whatever you are going through or holding inside. So don’t be afraid to love yourself and be your true self with those you love.