Saigon, Vietnam (2002)
When I was younger, I didn't know what gay or lesbian was. But I definitely knew that I was nothing like the other girls. I hated dresses, make-up, and I was scared to hell of dolls. I played with all the boys and loved wearing boys' clothes.
And I knew I would never let anyone label me as something that was seen as repulsive in the eyes of the world.
Everywhere I went, being gay was associated with something bad. At home and at school, the words "fag," "gay," "lesbian," etc, were taboo.
So I was convinced very early on that liking women was a sin.
By middle school, I had grown out my hair, dressed a little more girly, and started hanging around more girls. I tucked my true self away, and somewhere down the road I lost who I was. I soon realized that eventually I had to be truthful to myself and just admit it - I am a lesbian!
I became very proud of who I am, and I told myself that if people couldn't accept me as I am, then they didn't deserve a place in my life. So I slowly started to come out to my close friends first, and only a few family members knew. In my final year of high school, I became an advocate for diversity among the students there.
I am still in the process of coming out, mainly to my family. I know now that I have always been gay, and there is no way for me to change that. I am proud to finally be true to myself.
At the end of it all, whichever path you may choose, remember that there's no path greater than just being yourself.
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"