Growing up, graduating college, and becoming my own person has given me a lot of time to self-reflect. I've been able to think about who I was, who I became, and who I want to be. Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the people, good and bad, who have made me who I am. So much of what makes me me is a result of the love I've received from the important people in my life. Two of those people being my best friends from the ages of 15-basically now.
I met Brittney and Danielle my freshman year of high school. We clicked instantly and formed a bond that not even college (and now grad school, a new state, a new marriage, and a new job) could break. We went to every football game together, had sleep overs, went shopping, drank countless amounts of Starbucks and Wakezone (shout of to my Apex, NC peeps!), and shared so much about our lives with each other. We talked about school, ex-friends, our parents, the future, and of course: boys. Lucky for me, I was able to participate in all of these conversations. But towards the end of my junior year of high school, I had a new topic of conversation that I desperately needed to talk about but was so nervous to even bring it up.
I started coming to terms with my sexuality during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. Although I didn't have everything figured out, I knew I liked girls and I knew I wanted to share this with my best friends. As I was talking to a girl that would soon become my girlfriend, I knew I couldn't keep hiding this part of my life. I eventually came out to my parents and then I knew that the second most important people that should know would be Britt and Dani.
All three of us were involved in YoungLife during high school. If you're not familiar with YL, its basically a nondenominational Christian organization. There were club meetings all through out the week and me and my friends went religiously (ha-ha, see what I did there?). The week after my first girlfriend and I started officially dating, I knew it was time. Brittney, Danielle, and I got to club early to help set up and then we had a little bit of free time until others started showing up. I told them I wanted to go outside and talk to them about something. Judging by the looks on their faces, I think they thought I was about to tell them I had cancer or something. In that moment, cancer seemed a little better than coming out. But nonetheless, the words "I like girls" blurted out of my mouth shortly followed by "and I have a girlfriend now."
I remember looking at the pavement and refusing to make eye contact with them. It felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and that I was going to vomit, shit my pants, or both. But before I knew it, I heard one of them say, "C! We still love you and we don't care who you're dating as long as they treat you right!" I looked up and saw my two best friends smiling at me. They reassured me that they loved and supported me no matter what. They asked me questions about how my family reacted and about my new girlfriend. They said they wanted to meet her and that they were happy that I was happy.
It was such a small moment and looking back, the whole conversation probably only lasted about 10 minutes, but it was such an impactful 10 minutes for me. My best friends were still my best friends. My best friends still loved me, they were happy for me, and they wanted to meet my new girlfriend. They probably have no idea how much it meant to me that they accepted me. But for 16 year old me, it meant the entire world.
Brittney and Danielle, thank you. Thank you for loving me regardless of my sexuality and who I dated, thank you for sticking by my side as I had to brave high school with a new identity, thank you for showing an interest in who I was dating even if it might have been hard for you, and thank you for not leaving my side since. Your friendship is one that I cherish so much and I am so lucky to have your support. BCD forever!