I truly believe that coming out is one of the hardest, most excruciating and mentally challenging actions a human can perform.

But it’s also one of the most rewarding, courageous and even spiritually fulfilling events that can not only open your life to new experiences, but also open the minds of those around you.

To me, coming out was a necessity to living a happy life, and I’m sure many would feel the same. Which is why it is such a shame that we still live in a time where so many young people feel pressure to stay in the closet out of fear of rejection by their peers and family.

Before I came out, my biggest issues surrounding being gay weren’t my family — they were my own fears of not having children and not having a family. To me, those were more important than anything I already had.

At its essence, the key to understanding the importance of coming out, is that it’s a time where you stand to lose so much, but it’s also a time where you will get so much in return.

It’s a gamble, that’s for sure. A true ‘rolling of the dice’.

And so, to those who have not yet come out or who are thinking of coming out but are too afraid to — just do it.

Your life may become harder. In fact, I guarantee it will be a bumpy ride, but now is a better time then ever to set yourself free. And always remember, if your parents don’t accept you, if your friends turn their backs on you or your town chases you with pitchforks, it’s them that has the problem, not you, and there is always somewhere you can go.

In the end, you have to do what is best for you, and maybe coming out isn’t that, but if you feel it is, then go for it!

BY JESSE MATHESON

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