"I just feel that over the last four years I've learned to relax a bit and enjoy life in a way that I never allowed myself before. I've experienced parts of myself that I didn't even know were there. I was so preoccupied with everything I thought was wrong with me I never stopped to look at what was right with me. I was trying to be perfect when I should have been trying to be myself. I was so worried about whether or not people would like me and accept me for who I was pretending to be while at the same time longing to feel that I would be accepted for who I truly was. ...I've learned that if people don't accept you for who you are, or you feel like you have to live a lie when you are around them, then you need to move past those people.
"I finally feel like I can be authentic. I owe that to my own inner progress as well as to my family and many of my friends. I have friends, gay and straight, that have accepted me as I am while encouraging me to be better. Not their definition of better, but mine, and that is one of the most affirming things anyone could do for me."
I understand whereof he speaks.