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Coming Out Stronger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The article “Coming Out Stronger” gave me a view into Gina's life and showed me that she really had to fight to get where she is now. Gina is a proud lesbian who decided to stop hiding her true self.

During the 2012 Presidential election, when the discussion of marriage equality came up, Gina wrote a thoughtful, inspiring post on Facebook. Despite Gina's good intentions, many responded negatively to her post. People began to harass her, including some of her close friends. Gina found herself feeling very alone, until an unexpected ally wrote her a beautiful, supportive text message. This gave Gina the strength to turn away from the negative forces in her life and focus on the positive.

This piece caught my attention because I am a Catholic and I strongly support ­marriage equality. I believe that nobody has the right to decide who or how somebody loves. Everyone deserves to be happy. I don't understand why some people are against this.

I have heard other stories like Gina's, and am always shocked. How can people think it is okay to throw around the word gay – “this is gay” or “that is so gay” – not thinking about how it affects others? America is supposed to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” yet we still have not given those rights to everyone.

I am so proud of Gina. The last line of her article is the most meaningful of the piece: “Instead of seeing a sad place full of enemies, I saw allies and friends who have helped me to become stronger.” This piece has taught me that any of us can be the one to cut someone down on Facebook or pick them up with a supportive text. So which are you going to choose?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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