October 5, 2010
Posted: 02:06 PM ET
This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Chef Cat Cora, President and Founder of "Chefs for Humanity" (www.chefsforhumanity.org):
I was born in the 60's in Mississippi. I was also born gay. Yes, that's right BORN gay. Believe me, I tried to pray "it" away at church every Sunday like a good Christian girl from the South. I tried to date "it" away, dating good guys who didn't understand why I wouldn't, no couldn't, be with them completely. I wanted so badly to be straight like my friends. But I couldn't change it anymore than I could change having brown eyes. And I knew I would never fit into what kids thought was normal.
When I finally met my first love, I was 17. I fell in love and didn't have one friend who I could tell. There was no giggles and gossip and no gushing about how beautiful, smart and wonderful she was. There were definitely no "meet the parents" dinners. I endured the love and loneliness alone. The passion was liberating but the breakup was almost unbearable.
So when a young person who is gay takes their life, my heart breaks to pieces. But, I also know their pain. I understand how fragile life is being young and gay. Being a "freak" as some people would like to call us is hell on earth. Straight kids have no idea how much it sucks. One trauma can break you and change life as you know it, and you are gone forever.
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