Hello, my name is Leslie. I'm here and queer.

I am from a small town in Florida with a population of 13,000. Growing up in the South, and in the Christian tradition, meant I was taught to reject the LBGTQ community. For me, this also meant rejecting this part myself. For 25 years I tried so hard to be someone other than who I was.

My perspective began to change in college. I majored in Philosophy & Religion at Flagler College, and for the first time in my life I encountered LBGTQ people. While I never admitted to myself, my friends, or my family that I identified within this queer community, I began to see an alternative path and a hope that I too might find love and self acceptance.

Moving to Atlanta was the best decision I have ever made. I finally found the space and friends to process my sexuality. For me, coming out has been a journey of genuine celebration. My friends threw me a bomb coming out Pink Lady Party; we popped champagne and danced the night away. Coming out is a privilege and it should be a joyous celebration. Period. 

Since publicly coming out I have learned to love myself, advocate for others, and fully affirm the LBGTQ community. I want others to experience the deep joy and love that accompanied my coming out journey. Love simply is and I will celebrate it in all of it’s ridiculously beautiful forms.