My road has diverged in a dying wood. One road leads to the familiar, the plan that was always meant to be. Down that road is familiar faces and the comfort of acceptance from those I love. The me that follows that path is the me I’ve always pretended to be. The me that I wish I could be. The me that I could potentially continue to be for an indefinite amount of time.

But to what end? For how long?

This road of familiarity may seem welcoming now, but it promises far more pain. To continue to deny who I truly am is to fall deeper and deeper into the disease of myself. The woods around me are dying, and to continue down this straight path would be to die with them.

But what if I choose the other path?

I wrote this short journal entry on November 20, 2017. I was beginning to realize that staying in the closet was not going to be an option. The pain of maintaining the status quo in my life was too great. My dad has a saying that I’ve always used to help get through difficult times: “Either it’ll pass or you will.” This is an accurate representation of the dilemma that I faced. I had to either move on to the next chapter, where I was honest with myself and others, or life would become too much to bear.

So why am I sharing this now? Well, for one, I came across this entry on my iPad while reading through some old notes. But the main reason is that there are people that we all know and love, yes, people that YOU know and love, who are still stuck in this dying forest. And it’s up to us to help them know they are loved and accepted, no matter what.

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself. There aren’t stipulations to it. There’s not a footnote that says gay people are to be excluded. Treating someone as less because of their orientation is not loving them. So what will you do?