I didn’t know how they would react if I told them I was gay…

I’m a firefighter/paramedic in California who loves people and feels that the only way to change prejudice is though kindness and tolerance of others even though their views might be different than ours. I have been very lucky in my life to live in an area where most people embrace people like me. My parents are very open to me and have been supportive of me being a lesbian. I am very lucky.

Before I came out, I felt very tortured by keeping this very important part of myself hidden from the people around me. I didn’t know how they would react if I told them I was gay. So I kept it a secret for a very long time. Unfortunately, by keeping this secret, it put up emotional walls between me and the world outside. I felt very alone. People wanted to get to know me, but I wouldn’t let them. I wouldn’t let my parents come over to my apartment. I lost a lot of good and potential friends because I was too afraid of how they would react to me if I told them I was a lesbian. Finally, when I just couldn’t bear it anymore, I came out. I was amazed how supportive everyone was! Even at work. I find now that if people are against who I am, I treat them with extra kindness, because I feel that these people need to know that gay people are good people. Through kindness and caring of others is how the barriers between all people will fall. Remember, you are blessed to be who you are and it is so important to live your soul’s true purpose. It is there you will find true happiness.