Being gay has always been apart of who I am. I cant remember a time where I didn't know that I was gay. Throughout my life, Ive never seen myself being gay as an issue. Its just who I am. I remember when I was younger, I was so afraid of people finding out. It was a huge secret that I had to keep from everyone. Looking back now, that wasn't healthy for me and I didn't allow myself to be who I truly was. I was so caught up in what other people thought of me. I didn't have a problem with myself being gay, but that didn't matter because I was more worried about how others would see me if they knew. Now, being older, I couldn't care less what other people think of me. Im going to live my life being who I am and proud of it. It was a struggle in the past, but it brought me to accept and love myself today. I have a very supportive family and group of friends that I feel truly blessed to have. I know not every lgbtq+ teen has that support and its heartbreaking. If I had one piece of advice to give lgbtq+ teens it would be to be yourself. The people who truly care about you and your happiness will be there for you no matter what. Don't waste your life trying to impress the wrong people.

-Camille Penicook

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