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Who in your life has shown you love and support, and how?

The person in my life who has shown me the most love and support would be my cousin Melanie. My cousin was initially like a mother to me, even though we’re so close in age. She convinced her parents to let me stay with them when I had no place else to go. Melanie has always been my greatest supporter; helping me finish high school, enrolling into college, and accepting that there is nothing wrong with who I am. Melanie has worked hard to demonstrate what acceptance is to her family and is the main reason my partner is accepted at all family functions.

We talk about LGBT people thriving and living full lives. What does thriving mean to you?

Thriving to me means being able to accomplish my dreams and not being held back because of fear of disclosing who I am. Thriving to me means embracing the differences that exist within our communities and knowing that these differences make our communities stronger and more vibrant.