Rammestein, Germany (1989)
I was always told by my parents that they knew that I would be different and special. I would walk around the house singing at the top of my lungs, and I loved talking to people. I was always so happy, loved bright colors, and loved to laugh. As you can see in my photo, I was doing both by age 3!
My parents always told me that they would love me no matter what happened.
I first knew I was different in the 4th grade, when I saw all the boys and girls holding hands with each other. I wanted to hold hands with a boy named Jesse, because he was nice to me.
When I was a pre-teen I had an antisocial phase, and I decided to come out of the closet at 14 for my own sanity. I mainly felt that being gay was my own business, and people didn't need to know. However, I couldn't open myself up to people in other ways, without being wholly honest about who I was.
So I came out and started making friends by being the funny guy. Since I was making everyone laugh, they didn't care who I was dating. As time went on, being gay was just something that was. I learned to surround myself with people who enjoyed me for me. I dated and learned lessons just like everyone else.
Since coming out, I have rarely felt "different" for being who I am. I have always been a big advocate of not letting my homosexuality define me. That's always the first thing I tell people who are curious about why I came out so early, and it's the advice that I give younger LGBT people now.
I'm not just a gay man, I am so much more than that.
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