“We met super young. Our parents were best friends, and I think somehow they thought we would fall in love, marry, and continue the tradition of high school sweethearts. No how matter how much I cared for her (and possibly actually loved her), I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
“As I wrote the first, ‘Will you be my girlfriend’ note, I thought about how I would never be able to give us both the life we wanted and be genuine in it. Did we both deserve that?
“It luckily never came to that. Somehow, she knew, and then I knew. It’s something unspoken that maybe she sensed from knowing me better than I knew myself. I was gay and I couldn’t live a truthful life in love with her.
“There will always be a ping of wonder – or maybe it’s even jealousy – as I see her now married and starting a family. Wondering how, if I had sacrificed more, it could have been me. But I wake up every day in a little more truth and a little more acceptance and a little more hope for the future.”