My story is not uncommon. In fact, it’s what’s expected and accepted - it’s a trend, easily mapped by data. It also doesn’t only apply to the LGBTQ+ community - but my community has been uniquely impacted.
Growing up in Eastern, Kentucky as part of the LGBTQ+ community is traumatic and isolating. You learn at an early age that in order to be happy, in order to find acceptance and opportunity, that you need to move away. I remember my Mamaw sitting me down, 9 maybe 10 years old, preparing me for something she wanted to be sure I heard. She made sure to tell me that I was loved, but that she knew that I was "different". She told me that she wanted me to move away as soon as I could so that I could be happy. That moment has stuck with me forever - I know it is a shared story and resonates with thousands.
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