I Hid Who I Was Because I Thought Being Gay Was A Sin – But Now I Have Learned To Love Myself

Her upbringing and beliefs made Roxanne Dunn wonder if she’d be better off dead - she never thought she'd be able to openly embrace her sexuality.


Until fairly recently, I spent the majority of my life being afraid to be who I am. I prayed that God would change me, and I tried to force myself to be something I’m not. I even thought about killing myself, because I thought my family would prefer that to having a daughter who liked girls.

I had dated boys my whole life; that’s what I’d been taught to do, and that’s what made the most sense. I’d been raised to believe that being gay was a sin. That a couple, a marriage, should involve a man and a woman. When I realized that what I’d been taught, and how I felt were two different things, I began to wonder if I’d be better off dead than living as a disappointment to those I loved.

I’d had enough. I was tired of feeling so conflicted, and so emotionally exhausted. I sat down and wrote a suicide note. While I didn’t truly intend to kill myself that night, it was how I felt, and it was a relief to at least get my feelings out. Afterwards, I simply put my journal away and carried on.

I went to college and realized that, actually, same-sex relationships weren’t uncommon or sinful.

I’m very glad that’s what I did, because things began to change. I became involved in a youth group who accepted me for who I was. I went to college and realized that, actually, same-sex relationships weren’t uncommon or sinful, and that there were many people who had no problem with them at all. I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin and became a happier person.

Last September, I wrote an article that really helped switch my mindset and my whole outlook on life. At the time, I was only out to a select few people, and even they barely knew the amount of personal struggle I had been through in an effort to start accepting myself. I wrote about my fears of rejection, both from my family and from God.

I wrote about how I was confused as to why so many people told me I wouldn’t go to Heaven if I was gay. I wrote about my suicidal thoughts, my depression and anxiety, and my suicide note. But, most importantly, I wrote about acceptance.

I wrote about God’s love, and my belief that he made me perfectly in his eyes, exactly how I am. I wrote about how I didn’t want to die, and how I chose to learn to love myself instead. I wrote about my first relationship with a girl, and how she helped to shape my thoughts and beliefs. I wrote about my own happiness, and felt a huge weight fall off my shoulders when it was released.

Since I wrote that article, I have changed a lot. Recently, I’ve learned to completely accept the term ‘bisexual’ and understand that it doesn’t mean I’m confused about my sexuality. I’ve learned that some people will understand that, and some will not, but either way I’m okay with their response. I’ve felt love and acceptance from my parents and from my family.

I started to feel happiness I haven’t felt in years. My anxiety and depression have decreased immensely.

Together, we’ve overcome barriers of fear and confusion.  They have expressed their concerns and disagreements with such kind and clear communication – even when I know they don’t agree with me; they leave me in no doubt that I am loved by them.

I also ended my first relationship and began growing as an individual, and recently I started to feel a happiness that I haven’t felt in years. My anxiety and depression have decreased immensely and I’m no longer afraid to go to church. I haven’t written anything suicidal in more than a year and, more than that, I have started writing for fun again.

I don’t know where my life will take me, or who I will end up with, but I do know that I will be happy and loved for the rest of my life – if not by anyone else, then by myself. And self-love is the most important love we can have in our lives.

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