I came out when I was 34.
Unlike so many of my fellow LGBTQ brothers and sisters, I was not thrown in a locker in high school for liking girls. I was not called a dyke or a faggot when I was 15. I wasn’t spit on, bullied, or worse.
But I know what it feels like to be gay.
I know how it feels to be afraid to kiss your fiancé in public when you’re outside your urban, accepting bubble. I know how it feels to be embarrassed to hold your wife’s hand because someone might stare. I know what it’s like to not correct a stranger when they ask “are you sisters?”
Coming out wasn’t easy, but I took for granted something I never thought I would have to.
I could pretend one night in Orlando couldn’t threaten an entire community, but I would be lying.
Because from this day forward, each time we set foot in a gay dance club or wave a rainbow flag for Pride, we will not forget.
But that’s all the reason I vow to hold my wife’s hand more often.
To dance like no one is watching, like every straight couple I know.
And to kiss my wife outside our home, as often as I do when we are safely inside.
Because love always wins.