I'd finally done it. After all of the anxiety, self-loathing, guilt, fear, trepidation and uncertainty, I told my parents I was gay.
And I was still ok.
I hadn't been kicked out. I wasn't rejected. I wasn't cast out of the family.
I was loved. I was accepted. I was still me.
I cannot accurately describe the feelings I experienced in that moment. After a lifetime in the desert, it was a cool drink of water. After years of carrying burdens almost incapable of bearing, it was a suddenly lightened load. It was a shout of joy, a needed relief, a celebration of life, a moment of zen, and a manifestation of love and acceptance.
The feeling was akin to the divine love I felt in the temple when I asked God if He accepted me as His gay son. My earthly parents had accepted me too.
Dropping to my knees in my room, I offered a prayer of gratitude. I always prepare for the the worst and hope for the best, and the near best had happened. That prayer was said through tears of joy.
I was giddy. I was thrilled. I was enthralled. I was humbled. I was happy.
I messaged my friends who had offered their best sentiments before, wanting to share the amazing news with them. There is no way I could have gotten through without their constant support. I smiled as their responses of joy came back. They had all been waiting in eager anticipation. I was glad I was heading to Salt Lake the next day to meet some of them for the first time.
Glancing at my packed suitcase, I laughed softly at myself. I had been so worried to the point of being sick, and now it all seemed so silly. Of course my parents accepted me. I was their son! Why hadn't I told them years ago!?!
I headed back downstairs to be with my family, finally feeling normal for the first time that entire reunion. I was smiling again, I was myself again.
Thinking to myself, I knew the path ahead would not always be easy. Hard decisions await me in my future along with heartbreak and grief as well as joy and happiness. But I was at peace knowing I had a foundation of godly and familial love as I took another step forward in my journey across the moving horizon.