'Love, Simon' Helped Me Gain The Courage To Tell My Story
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Politics and Activism

'Love, Simon' Helped Me Gain The Courage To Tell My Story

I'm not ashamed of being different, I'm ashamed of trying to pretend that I wasn't.

'Love, Simon' Helped Me Gain The Courage To Tell My Story
Joshua Bressi

To Becky Albertalli, the author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and to the creators who decided to turn the book into the movie, “Love, Simon,” thank you.

Thank you for the recognition, thank you for the representation, and most of all, thank you for the inspiration and courage to finally write this article, one that I’ve thought about, but have been hesitant to write for a while now.

I'm pretty nervous sitting here writing this, but it's something I want to do, not only for me but also for some other people that aren't totally comfortable with themselves yet either.

Within the past four years, I've learned a lot about not only myself but many other people, as well. In the beginning, I didn't fully accept who I was and I constantly worried about what others would think of me if they knew what I considered to be my "huge secret."

At first, I didn't really get what "fully coming out to yourself" meant, but once I did it, it was very clear. I realized that this is who I am.

Worrying won't change anything and there's no need to anyway. After years of being scared of people finding out and always trying to hide and blend in, it was very eye-opening when I realized I was finally ready to accept myself.

I've watched so many LGBTQ+ YouTubers, one thing all of their channels had in common was that they had at least one video that talked about coming out. In most of the coming out videos, they would tell me that I'll just know when I'm ready.

I hated this advice because, at the time, I didn't understand it. I thought I was ready at the time, but I wasn't so I didn't really get this "feeling" they were talking about when you just know until after a while I did.

A few short months ago I was just sitting in my room and that's when I figured it out. I was done being ashamed because I had no reason to be. I knew it was time to tell my mom.

I don't know what exactly happened, but something just clicked in my brain and I was ready. Her reaction was the best I could've asked for, but that's not much of a surprise. Since then I've told other family members and my best friend.

Because of some things I posted on social media, more people seemed to catch on at school, but nobody really made a big deal out of it. The fact that I had a girlfriend was no different than my best friend having a boyfriend.

Before all of this, I would just lay in bed at night and be so scared of people finding out at school; the thoughts would just consume me. All I could think about were the negative scenarios I'd create in my head.

I truly thought people would call me names in school and I'd lose all my friends, but after people found out, I really wasn't treated any differently.

Over the past four years, I've grown as a person more than I thought was humanly possible. Four years ago I was a closeted 13-year-old girl who cried in a bathroom stall at school because someone questioned my sexuality. Now, I'm doing everything I can to prevent any other person that I can from doing the same thing.

I understand how difficult it can be to be true to yourself, especially in high school.

Whether you're hiding your sexuality, your true opinions, or anything in between to blend in, it's so important to know that no matter how alone you feel, there is always someone that can relate to your situation, and by being honest with, and about, ourselves, we can make it so much easier to find real friends for trust and support.

As I mentioned earlier, writing this article was pretty difficult for me. It's the first time I've been fully open to everyone so it's kind of scary, but I got that specific "feeling," and I realized that I was ready.

This has been one of the most self-revealing articles I've ever written, and 13-year-old me would have called you crazy if you'd told her she would be writing this in the future, but I'm happy that I've decided to do it.

I know I'm taking a huge step in the right direction for myself and hopefully many other people in situations similar to the one I was in a few years ago.

Accepting myself was a long process, but it has been beyond worth it. I know I still have a bit more to go because at times I do still get a little awkward when the topic is brought up in conversation, but I'm much more comfortable now than I've been in the past.

I'm so much happier since I realized that accepting yourself and not caring about what others think is the way to go. After years of shame and guilt, I'm finally learning that self acceptance is the route to happiness, and life has been so much better because of it.

So once again, thank you so much to Becky Albertalli for writing the book that truly opened my eyes

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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