Thank you for this story, James, and thank you, Brandy, for allowing him to share it with us.

You are a courageous and lovely person, Brandy, and I sincerely hope your story changes the heart of at least one conservative Christian who strives to deny the basic American rights to LGBTQ people that the rest of us enjoy.

I live in the South. For years, my home was in a rural area where being LGBTQ was dangerous. Now, just 15 miles away, I live in a liberal college city where being who you were born to be is embraced — usually. Unfortunately, even this progressive community has seen an increase in all types of hate crimes since Trump became president.

We must keep doing everything possible to assure that all people are valued and respected.

I am hoping, Brandy, that you find happiness, contentment, and acceptance. As difficult as it is, we sometimes need to create our own families and let go of the ones given to us at birth. Embrace those who truly love and support you. They are your family.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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