Despite spending her past four years learning about tolerance and acceptance, this student recalls her struggle to find acceptance as a lesbian. After discovering that she and her best friend were in love, she felt confused and scared that other people would judge her for her sexual preferences, and even wondered if her religious school would kick her out for being homosexual. She quickly learned that many of the people she thought were her friends were in fact the first ones to judge and condemn her. The family members she has told have been supportive, but, in light of what happened with her friends, she doesn’t know how her parents will react, or if their love will truly hold when she needs it the most.
This student emphasizes the fact that deep growth and learning takes place when one’s entire self is involved and, in particular, when the learning process involves one’s personal life. She describes accepting and sharing her sexual identity as a process made difficult because of other people’s judgment—and her consequent fear of how people might react. However, her decision to tell her family about it demonstrates her courageous willingness to express herself and her desire to be accepted for who she truly is, instead of desperately trying to fit in.