My name is Alexa and this is my Be Free story. My story begins four years ago when I knew I was different than those around me. I didn’t know what I was feeling and there was nobody around me to talk about what I was feeling and how to fully comprehend everything. Two years later I started to do a lot of research. I spent so much watching youtube videos, reading educational articles, and finding any sort of educational pieces of research. I tend to do a lot of research when I am questioning something or when I just want to learn more. In mid-2018 I was added to an lgbtq+ group where I was able to openly speak about my thoughts. I got close to three individuals who let me spend hours upon hours talking about my thoughts and just get everything out. I had finally come to terms that I am bisexual. December 2018 I came out to the three individuals and it felt so real and so good to finally get it off my chest. I spent 2019 continuing to educate myself and I got the opportunity to celebrate pride in June of 2019. It was such an amazing experience and I can’t wait until I am able to attend another event. I spent 2019 in the closet to everyone besides a select few people and continued that into 2020. I came out to my main friend group in April of this year and had such genuine responses. I posted on a stan account I run and left it at that. People didn’t really care that I had come out so that made me scared to come out publicly. Now here is where my life took a turn in a positive direction. In July 2020 a misread intention was made and it led me to message Brian about the situation because I was offended, I was hurt, and I wanted to educate. My anxiety was through the roof because I had heard things from other people about how their calls with him went and I didn’t know what to expect. I had got home from work not even five minutes before our call was scheduled. My phone rang and my nerves were through the roof. We talked for just over two hours and within those two hours my outlook on Brian had changed significantly. He got a second chance from me and a second chance is hard to get from a person who has major trust issues, from someone who’s been hurt, and from someone who fears the unknown. The fear of the unknown is absolutely terrifying and I wish there was a way to decrease that fear but there just isn’t. After our conversation I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I had came out to someone who was a stranger at first, I helped educate someone on a topic that they weren’t very educated on, and my words had an impact on someone. I’ve struggled with wording things for a long time, but the words I was able to say to him and the words I’m saying now are coming off without a struggle. July 16th, 2020 I came out on my instagram account where I have my past classmates, friends from my childhood, friends I’ve made through the internet, family members, and several others. I would not have gained the confidence to come out without the conversations I had with David and Brian. Their words helped me realize that I am not alone in this journey and that my words matter. They helped me come to realization that I matter, that my feelings matter, that I am validated by so many people, that I deserve to not be closeted anymore, and that they are there for me through this journey. When I was asked to write this blog post for Be Free I was lost for words. I’ve never had someone who listened to my words in such a way that people over the last few days have. It feels great. But then there is the part of me who feels guilty for the responses to my coming out story as there are so many people who had such a negative response and who got hate for their story. Everyone deserves to feel validated, accepted, and loved after coming out. Everyone’s story matters. Coming out is something that takes a lot to do, it’s not easy. But it gets a little easier when you’re able to surround yourself around supportive people. I haven’t felt this much positivity, love, and happiness in almost three years. The love and support I’ve been feeling since coming out has been so amazing and I’m truly so blessed and so forever grateful. I finally can say that I deserve to be free. Thank you for taking the time and reading my words, it truly means so much. If you are questioning, if you need help educating yourself, or if you just need someone to talk to, reach out to someone. There will always be someone there for you to talk to about anything. You all are loved, you all are accepted, you all matter, you all are validated, and you all deserve the absolute world. My name is Alexa and this is my Be Free story.