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People change. People learn and grow. That is the hope, that we will evolve into better humans.

Now I do give some people leeway as age and experience fashions them into better forms of themselves, especially for people who spend many formative years as "bullies."

One of the most bullied groups is the LGBTQIA community. Sadly many inflict inhumane cruelty on them.

And because too many others are just confused about themselves. Hurt people, hurt people. That is a very accurate saying. And often the people lashing out at the LGBTQIA community are just too afraid to admit, they want a ticket to the party.

Redditor u/straight-up-bs wanted to hear some hard but fantastic truths from people who found their truth by asking: Previous homophobes who turned out to be gay, what's your story?

I've lost count of the number of people I personally know, who were just plain malicious to gay people. They would fling slurs and do bodily harm. They couldn't handle being around people "like that" they'd say. Then cut to a decade later, and there I see them shaking it on a speaker to Whitney. Mhmmm...

1-

Sorry Dog GIF by swerk Giphy

"I wasn't a homophobe I think, but more... I guess a little judgy about it. I lived in the middle of nowhere and was homeschooled with extremely limited access to the internet, so really only had my father and stepmother as sources."

"My father's opinion was that all gays are really only doing it for attention, and my stepmother would tell us stories about how her family members would get disowned and written out of the will (a cousin of her's) when they came out of the closet."

"They also made it a stipulation that in order to be in their will we had to have four kids, and we could not adopt until we exhausted all other methods of natural conception. When I was about 14, I had started reading fanfiction. I was into Sonic at the time (cringy, I know) and stumbled upon the ships. It slowly turned to me reading more and more gay fanfics, as I started to read from other fandoms I was into."

"Once I got into the Harry Potter fandom properly, I realized that damn, I was ticking a lot of these boxes... Oh crap, I might be bi! Still haven't had a chance to properly explore me sexuality yet, and it's not really a concern of mine at the moment. I live with my bio mother now, and she's totally cool with me being bi curious. She's bi herself, apparently!"

- MistyShadowWolf

2-

"Well, I grew up in such a hetero world that I genuinely didn't know what gay people were until I was 14 or 15. I just thought everyone was straight; which is why when I started crushing on girls when I was 13, I thought I was a perverted psychopath who needed locking up. I used to fake sick so I wouldn't have to go into school, so that girls wouldn't have to be anywhere near me. Eventually they started bullying me for being such a loner anyway."

"When I was 14, 2 senior year girls were expelled for being seen outside of school grounds, in their school uniforms, making out. That was what confirmed being gay was bad for me. We even had an entire religion module on why gay marriage shouldn't be legalised, and you had to back up your answers with bible quotes. A rumour went around about one girl being a lesbian, and I went along with the bullies, called her a freak behind her back."

"Well 3 years after that, I wrote a letter to my parents explaining how I just couldn't get myself to like boys, even after dating them. My mum picked it up mid way through writing it, read it aloud, and just started laughing. I said it'd be ok if she wanted to kick me out of the house. She said she couldn't give a crap and that I shouldn't either. Still got bullied for a while but eventually I found friends that accepted me."

- Throwaway7894325103

Best Excuses For Late Assignments That Were Actually True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

3-

"Gonna be similar to a lot of people here. Grew up in a super conservative religious family where gay people were regularly mocked and called immoral. My cousin is gay and came out when I was in middle school. The family refused to talk to him for about 10 years after that and that scared me so much as a kid I just suppressed any gay thoughts I might have. I ended up parroting the hate I heard from parents and continued to do so until I went to college."

"In college I was finally far enough away from them that I wasn't scared of hiding anymore and kind of figured out who I was (I didn't know I was gay until probably junior year. I had just pushed the possibility out of my head.) Since then I've told my mom who is a bit more chill (though she doesn't believe me. She thinks it's just God testing me) but no one else in the family. Kids mimic what they see, but in more accepting environments people have a better chance of realizing who they are (in my experience)."

- Rhodehouse93

4-

"I wasn't a serious homophobe. I didn't go out of my way to diss people for being part of the LGBT community but I didn't support them and kinda thought they were making a mistake. There were a lot of people who used being gay to get attention and I really didn't like it and since I didn't notice that they weren't actually gay, I thought that was natural."

"Secondly, I was using excuses of 'Aren't you too young to figure that out?' when talking to my friends. Around the quarantine, I started talking to this person who was explaining to me the LGBT community. I still wasn't very convinced but I tried to keep an open mind at least. After a while, we kinda went our separate ways."

"My friend started coming over more, and we started texting a lot more as well and I found myself staring at my friend in awe, hugging her and never wanting to let go, feeling sadder and disappointed when she would bail on me rather when my other friends did it and thinking about her a lot more. I haven't told her about my feelings yet but I'm planning to."

- McKenzie_Angels

5-

romantic lady and the tramp GIF Giphy

"I thought everyone wanted to make out with members of all sexes, and that they could choose to not make out with members of the same sex if they wanted to. Turns out, I'm just bisexual (not pan because I'm more into women than I am men)."

- sycoraxthelost

See how much happier and freeing it can be once we embrace our true selves? All of these people finally just gave up fighting, from within. And it's smoother when you take sometime to learn about the things you don't understand. Continue...

6-

jesus deal with it GIF Giphy

"Was raised Christian and grew up being told that being lgbt was A) A straight ticket to hell B) On the same level as Beastiality or incest C) A choice, and D) The worst thing you can do to your family.

After thinking a long time about how much of christianity made zero sense and noticing that God literally never contacted me, I also questioned how good a God can be if he'd make someone a certain way then eternally torture them for not living their entire life rejecting such a huge part of themselves."

"Not to mention how they'd have to either live their entire life alone because of something they can't control, or force themselves to be with someone they did not feel attraction for. I rejected the religion on this basis. Then over time realized that it's not straight to daydream about marrying your best female friend. Then even later on I realized it's not cis that in a bunch of those daydreams, I was a guy."

- Rook_45

7-

"Grew up in a christian conservative family. Became a homophobe because that's what Jesus wanted, apparently. That's what my family taught me. 2016 rolls around and suddenly my christian family stops caring about any of their morals."

"I realized they didn't believe a thing they taught me, and I didn't have any reason to believe it either. So I kept the good stuff (love others) and dropped the hateful junk. I don't really consider myself gay, but I am a guy and I'm dating a guy, because they're a good person and that's the only thing worth considering."

- Indigoh

8-

"I grew up Baptist with a very LGBT+ phobic step-father. I was very (cringily) into Sonic and around middle school found out what shipping was. I was mortified that two guys would be shipped together, "They're both boys, the bible says that's bad!" However, I was repressing my interest in it. I would often look up gay ships with Shadow or Sonic, just to look at them angrily, like any repressed 12 year old would do."

"Eventually, I admitted my interest in it to myself, but also said I'd never support it in real life. Fast forward a few years and I end up having a MAJOR crush on a girl. My first real love was a girl, and at that time, I thought I was a girl too. That ended in heartbreak, but that's another story. Soon I start to question my gender because another classmate of mine who I was friends with came out as a trans guy. At first, I didn't realize the teacher was calling on him and was confused as to where [his deadname] was."

Eventually I figured it out and my own gender was up for question. I started making more male main OC's and realized I had a much better time relating to them than I ever did my female ones. I quickly realized I was a trans guy as well. Since then I've been questioning my sexuality and trying out different labels for it; but I'm pretty sure Pansexual covers it."

- ISimpOverAnimeMen

9-

"Trans "girl" here. I got sucked into the alt-right pipeline in 2015 before i knew what being trans was but boy did I get introduced to it. I was told by Ben Shapiro and all the other morons like him that being trans and nonbinary (my current and more accurate identity) is a mental illness and that people who are those things are delusional and easily "triggered snowflakes."

"It took a serious come to Jesus moment to get out of my bad ways of thinking but i still had sort of a mental fog for reasons unknown. that sort of all fell apart the moment quarantine hit. now i'm a lot happier but I still feel horrible for all the crap I spread on the internet a while ago."

- bootypharter

10-

I Love You Kiss GIF by GAYCATION with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel Giphy

"I was like, one of those "I'm not homophobic but..." people until I was about 15, turns out the "but..." was "but I am a massive lesbian."

- BoomToll

11-

"I wouldn't say homophobe, I grew up with a pretty accepting father, my mom also accepted me when I came out as bi (I'm a girl) but really had a homophobic reaction towards my brother when he also came out as bi. I repeatedly got bullied growing up because I was a tomboy/large and got labeled as "butch", etc. I still have trouble accepting myself as I am because of it."

- Youre_late_for_tea

12-

"It's pretty simple. Being raised in a conservative state and christian family 🙂 you're taught to hate anyone who doesn't fit their mold, and subconsciously you know you're one of those "others", but you deny it and project that hate onto anyone else. I'll never understand how people can claim to worship a god who is loving, forgiving, sees humans as no better or worse than each other, yet they reject and exclude people from the "kingdom" or even target them as an outlet for their rage. So glad I escaped that barbaric way of life and thought."

- figure_kater

13-

"Basically my mom was kind of my only friend growing up because I'm on the autism spectrum and didn't develop "proper" social skills until I was like 10. I would believe everything she told me without questioning it. She also happens to be part of some pretty cult-like conservative groups so yeah I unfortunately had some pretty twisted views on stuff for awhile. When I was 14 I developed feelings for some girl I knew at school."

"Don't really wanna get into all of the details but I tried my hardest to convince myself that I only liked her as a friend and had feelings for one of my guy friends instead, which failed miserably. After speaking to a therapist and crap I finally started to accept myself as bi and realize how much of a terrible person my mom is. Im 17 now and looking forward to moving out soon."

- kierssreik

14-

"In high school, I had 2 best friends and we were part of a larger group of about two dozen friends. One guy in the larger group was outright hostile to anything gay. He hated any musical group with at least one known member who was gay, he hated guys wearing pink, and there were times he got so angry it would take a few of us to hold him back and keep him from attacking anyone (male or female) he perceived as gay. Found out at our ten-year reunion that all of it was due to his ultra-religious father who had disowned his own brother when he came out as gay."

"The uncle had been disowned by the entire family, called everything from evil to "possessed by Satan himself" to mentally deranged, etc. The last thing this guy wanted was to be treated the same way because, you guessed it, he was gay. His a-hole family disowned him, pretends he never even existed. I never saw him after high school, but others who have said he's a changed person, truly remorseful about the way he acted."

- PinocchioWasFramed

15-

Cartoon Yes GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants Giphy

"Wasn't really that homophobic but I thought it was weird but in middle school my friend came out as bi and basically all those thoughts went away and I turned out to be bi."

- fortnitesucks1234568

16-

"I was raised in a religious cult and genuinely believed if you were gay, you were going to Hell. I was never violent and I genuinely tried not to be what I thought was hateful, but I know for sure I unfortunately still hurt a lot of people with my judgements."

"What was worse was that I was so hypocritical and so turned around, I was sexting with other guys and struggled to stop, thinking of my want to be active with other guys as an addiction sent by the Devil. I was tearing myself apart, telling myself I would just pray enough and get right, and I had to be the hope for others."

"I still have a ton of religious trauma from what happened to me, and even after I initially left the church, I didn't seek help and hurt people I romantically got in touch with. I have a long ways to go, but I'm worlds away from where I used to be. I need to be the best I can be because I never want my future kids to grow up the same way I did."

- LiterateLevi

17-

"I was actually spoken to by a policeman 3 years ago for shoving a gay man after we had a disagreement in a pub. I was very homophobic in every sense. I wouldn't eat the food if the server was gay (couldn't bring myself to eat it), I left my friend group in university after a gay man was joining us. Couldn't see them on tv or listen to gay songs. Things like that."

"It's probably very complex why I hated them so much. A mixture of how they ruined my life and how I didn't want them to contaminate or hurt me. I was married for a few years and eventually I just felt really sick of it. I watched Hannibal the TV show and it was the beginning of coming to terms with it. I have a boyfriend now. He's really nice."

- Cockwombles

18-

"I grew up in your typical Christian bs, American dysfunctional household, knew really early on in life I wasn't normal so through school I was pretty hateful of gay and especially trans people and wouldn't associate with anyone that was. We had one trans girl in high school that I wouldn't associate with in any way, I didn't make fun of her or say anything awful but I deliberately stayed away from her. In secret I wished I could do the same and not let all the crap people said bother me but I didn't come out until I was 26. I really hate who I used to be and I wish I could do everything over."

- thefairlyeviltwin

19-

Golden State Warriors No GIF by NBA Giphy

"I wasn't really a homophobe, but I was a self-homophobe. I respected effeminate and queer guys but any time I had a gay or effeminate thought I'd think "stop being a freaking f*ggot." Even after I figured out I was bi I still struggled with my masculinity for years."

- Im_extremely_bitter

20-

"I'm bi but I started to learn to be more comfortable with myself, as I am sure a lot of us did. We're taught that to be ourselves is a bad thing when it's not. For parents of any kind, let your kid be.

"Just because you're a lesbian, it doesn't make you less of a bein'."- Marge Simpson."

- Gloomy_Living_7532

The truth is simple. Don't use that negativity for bad. Release it. Love is love is love. Let's just be people. Rant over.

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