Brittany, age 5
Galesburg, IL (1992)
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be just like my dad. In this picture, as you can see, I'm wearing a tank like him and posing like him. And look at those guns! He has always been my hero, above all others.
I also was beating all the boys at sports and things we did on the playground.
I loved playing with dad's old G.I. Joe figures, and shooting my toy bow and arrow in the basement
I wanted to be Robin Hood.
Although, I didn't fully admit that I'm a lesbian until I was 17.
But once I came out, I looked back and realized SO many instances over the years that made me slap my forehead and think: How could I NOT have known?
When I came out to my parents, they were devastated, as they are very religious. My dad said that somehow he wasn't surprised, and had seen this coming.
It killed me to disappoint him. All I had ever wanted was to impress him and be strong, just like him.
My parents are not in my life now, but I can honestly say that though I miss them terribly and wish things were different, I am so glad that I figured out who I really am.
I have felt more freedom and learned more about myself and the world since
I came out, than I ever thought I could. I know that a lot of why I have made it out on my own is how strong my dad raised me to be, and I am proud to be his daughter every day.
Not everyone understands us, or why we are the way we are, but that's okay - they don't have to. We all have to make our own way, and as long as you are happy with your life and the decisions you have made, that is what really matters.