When Matt first began to understand that he is gay, it took him some time to come to terms with it and become comfortable enough to share with friends and family members – but when he did, he felt the release of a burden. He was especially relieved after coming out as gay to his parents. When his father learned the news, he told Matt, ‘Son, I love you for who you are, not for what you are.’ “Hearing him say that lifted so much weight off my shoulders,” Matt said.
Now, he wants LGBTQ young people to know that it’s OK to be yourself and share your authentic life with the people you love. “Life right now could not be any better. Yes, I have my ups and downs, but who doesn’t?,” he said. “I think the proudest thing along in my journey is not caring what others think about me and living life to the fullest. I know that might sound cheesy, but it is true. I love myself for being me and you should love yourself for being you too. I think sharing my story can help others going through the same things I experienced. What you need to know is that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.