You didn’t need to write anymore than you did, Jim. This was perfect. Your pain, shame, sadness, and vulnerability dripped from each word. How I wish your experience was different! Yet, I know those experiences are so typical for LGBTQ youth. Always an outsider, always a pretender, bargaining with God, hoping those feelings are phases that will pass. We, all of us, need to reach out to LGBTQ youth and give them safe and nurturing spaces. As a straight female, that’s what I wanted and needed as I matured. It’s the least I/we can do for all children and teenagers.

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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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