So like I'm not sure if any of you know this, but I was raised Conservative Baptist Christian by a racist, bible-beating mother, and a slightly better in those respects, yet slightly worse in all others father. I had known since I started school that racism was wrong. I always hated when my parents would say racial slurs and things. That was inherent, and only took learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and having a Hispanic best friend. However, I had been raised to hate anything that could be considered "queer" in any sense - atheists, gays, trans* folk, et cetera. I held these ingrained ideals to heart up until about Sophomore year in High School. Yes, for 15 years, I was a hateful fucking bastard that despised anything that wasn't like what I was taught. I'd punch myself in the face. So, sophomore year I achieve my first foray into acceptance. I had a best friend named Scott - a gay boy in my grade. He became my friend simply because of how accepting he was of me, and in turn, I learned to accept him. This guy became my bro, but sadly moved away my Junior year. In comes the current love of my life. Shy, insecure, and devastated by social interaction. He was her at the time. I always thought she was cute. I instantly struck up a friendship with her because she seemed nice - on the eyes, ears, and in a conversation. A wonderful person. Junior year. I'd done something severely stupid over the Summer that I'm not at liberty to divulge, but I just wanted to get my life started again. My closer friends were a communist patriot, a pair of gamers, and my current best friend, a strapping young black man by the name of Derrick Watson. A bit of a delinquent, but not as bad as I had been. Daft, but not stupid. He was always accepting of everything, from my poor choice, to my sense of music and humor. I got him into dancing, and he got into it more than I did. On December 14th of last year, my current love told me she'd left her previous love and asked if I'd have her. Overcome with joy, I said yes. We had our first kiss at a culture festival on the 19th. Now, late Junior year. He confessed to me that he was transgender. I was apparently one of if not the first he came out to. I accepted him with open arms. He had taught me a lot about acceptance, and I wasn't going to turn my back on him now. I had become what I had hated in the past - an androgynous, self-sexualizing young man in love with a boy. That's not even taking into account the fact that I'd bend Robert Downey Jr. over a table, but that's just because wow have you seen him So there's no reason why people can't be accepting. There's no reason why someone can't become more than what they were raised to be. I'm more than my parents ever could add up to, and my mother will know when I have proposed to my boyfriend in June of 2015, that I might as well be gay, and I don't care if she accepts it or not, because I don't need her. All I need is my love and my true friends - the ones who won't question my acceptance. The one's who ask only once; "Are you okay with that?" and let it go when I say that I am. Any of you have any extraordinary stories about rising from ignorance?