I’m From Kansas.

by Jay Santiago

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I came out to my family and close friends around the beginning of January 2011. Although my mom is a lesbian, I still found it difficult to come clean with her. I suppose a lot of that fear was the idea that she would blame herself for my sexuality? Either way, I called her up one day and made small talk for a while. Being about 1200 miles away, it was my only option to call. I finally gathered up the courage to just tell her that I was gay. She instantly assured me that she was completely okay with it. The only thing that she cared about was my happiness and safety. After that relieving conversation with her, I decided to let Facebook handle the rest of my friends and family. I simply outed myself under my status and within 24 hours I had about 78 comments. Not one single person had anything negative to say. I know it seems lame to go that route but the only person I truly needed to speak with on a personal level, was my mom.

It took me 28 years to accept myself for who I really was. My biggest regret was not doing it a lot sooner. I am currently a lot happier with myself and with life in general. It has been quite rewarding, taking this step into my “new” life, and I will never forget the support that my true friends showed. If someone can’t accept me for who I truly am as a person, then I don’t need to have them in my life.

Sharing your story can change someone's life. Interested in learning more?