I’m 27 and I came out to my parents 7 years ago and we still continue to struggle at times. To whoever is reading this, I want to convey that anything you are scared of is not worth hiding who you are. I have a Catholic mom and a Southern Baptist dad so you could imagine they weren’t to thrilled to learn their only baby boy was gay. I, oddly enough, came out to my parents on October 14th, 2006. I was having a bad day at my retail job at the time and I came home and my stepfather asked me if I had asked out any girls that day. That statement bothered me the entire day, it had been pent up in me all day and when I got home, I busted open the door and….saw my step grandparents sitting there with my mom.

I didn’t care, I awkwardly let out a “MOM! I need to talk to you,” and took her downstairs. I sat her down and tried to beat around the bush to no avail. Then finally, I said, “You know how you worry if I am going to get a girl pregnant too young like what happened to Argelin (my sister)? Well you don’t have to worry about that because…” And then the words came out of her mouth as tears came from her eyes. I don’t remember much about that night other than the fact that I left crying. By far it was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Things got better but I’m going to be honest with you, it took some time.

Shortly after coming out and living my life as an openly gay man, I was crowned Homecoming King, elected Student Body President, and then elected State Student Body President. The only thing that hinders your life when you are gay is your perspective that it might, I now live an amazing life in Fargo and I have built a solid group of friends that has transformed into family for me. The best advice I can give you is to surround yourself with people that you love, be respectful of others, and live your life for you and not anyone else. Though that process, it will get better…but more importantly, you will get better.

Ken Story
Fargo, North Dakota