My Coming Out Story.... (Various Lives) June 22 2015
In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.
In a 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.
Nearly 46 years to the day after a riot at New York's Stonewall Inn ushered in the modern gay rights movement, the decision could settle one of the major civil rights fights of this era. The language of Kennedy's opinion spoke eloquently of the most fundamental values of family, love and liberty.
Even Though Its Illegal
Hi there. I’m from an area in Asia still fighting against a law which makes homosexual sex illegal, and despite this, coming out to my friends was probably one of the easiest things I have done, which came as a surprise to me. I technically came out before I even knew what ‘coming out’ really meant- I told my friends that I was romantically interested in a female, that I would never be interested in men, and they were all okay with it. I’ve been blessed in the sense that I have been surrounded by accepting people since I was young, who, even if they have a religion that does not agree with homosexual relations, accept me as a friend and understand who I am. Despite attending an all-female school as of now, never has anyone shunned me simply because of my sexual orientation, or stayed away simply because they were afraid I might fall for them.
I officially came out as a self labelled lesbian a year back after a short struggle wondering if I could possibly be bisexual and so far, it has been a wonderful journey. My friends do little things like referring to my future partner as my “girlfriend” or “wife” without a second thought, without flinching, without ever slipping once; little things like avoiding the use of 'gay’ as an insult even when it is lighthearted; little things like showing they accept and support gay rights, which I see are small, forgettable things to them but mean the world to me. Never once since I came out has there been an attack on my sexuality from these people I hold dear. They have helped me in getting one step closer to coming out confidently to my parents and I will never forget that I am surrounded by people who will always stand by my side, and who understand.
To those who believe they will never be accepted by those around them- you have a place in this world. And please, never forget that.
Anonymous Submission ****
I’m a gay man. Who is very much in the Closet...
I am a gay 20+ year old guy. And I’ve always known I liked boys from the age of 10 or 12. I’ve done some things kids tend to do when they are little with there brothers but noting to where it would rise any Suspicion, unless I come out. I’ve always had this attraction towards attractive guys through out middle school and into all 4 years in HS. I never once made an Indication that I was gay to anyone. Not family, friends or strangers. Several years in college and still am, I’ve noticed that I’m not in a rush to come out. I don’t have that support nest that others may have if something should happen. Their is only one person on this planet that consciously I’ve told who I really am. But not face to face. Through emails. I’m proud I made this very small step in what will one day be a larger one in sometime. I’m sad that I have to pretend to pactically everyone that I’m not who they think I am. I wish I could just be free of this weight off my shoulders. This is a story that I will continue to tell and one day wright s novel of my life for all to read. Take care.
Anonymous Submission ****
But at home I felt a lot of shame
All throughout my life I had struggled to find my identity and be true to myself. I had also always had a low-self esteem. It has been about three months since I decided to finally be true to myself and to acknowledge that what I was feeling was exactly the right thing. I had always been afraid of others knowing that I was attracted to women. I would compensate by always saying I wanted a boyfriend. Even though that was something I really did not desire. As I think back to the middle of fall quarter it brings tears to my eyes. I remember sitting waiting for the bus and wondering if what I felt was correct. I had feelings for a queer friend that were so intense I felt I could no longer suppress what I felt. I was blessed enough to confide in a close friend and she was great support. But being a UCI commuter I was always afraid to go back home and see my family. At school I felt safe. But at home I felt a lot of shame. I began to have a lot of stress and depression during finals week. I remember I spent the entire finals week on campus. I would only go home to shower.
My mother who I am extremely close to began to notice. I could feel that she had doubts about my whereabouts. I had a hard time focusing on studying and could not take it anymore. At work I would miss meetings and those close to me noticed that something was going on in my life. Finally Friday of finals week I decided was time to be true to myself and come out to my family. I knew winter break was nearing and knew I no longer would have the safety of campus. I was unsure if it was healthy for me to continue to suppress my thoughts. I had also recently been to a SafeZone and had learned that what I was feeling was absolutely normal and that I should embrace it.
It was early in the morning and my house was busy. My mom and sister were having breakfast and talking about church and the plans for the weekend. At that moment I was worried that my mom would kick me out and that I would be shunned forever. It was a risk I had to take or else I would not be here today. I am extremely family oriented and knew that this would be hard for them to understand. I remember looking at my mom and telling her that I was attracted to women and that I needed them to know. My mother began to cry as well as my sister. She told me I was confused and that I had never had a boyfriend so this was me being desperate. I remember telling her that what I felt was me, and that I knew who I was. She asked me if I was dating a woman or if I had sexual relations. I said no. But I have never dated men either so I knew it was just who I was. I remember wanting to cry but being full of joy and freedom.
Although my mother and sister do not accept me they are learning to respect my sexual orientation. I feel like my relationship with my family has grown and that I am more independent. Yes, at times we are at disagreements but at the end of the day it’s all okay. My coming out for me was very liberating and it was also very uplifting. It has been a long road and there are still many battles to win. I remember very clearly the day I came out to my mother and sister. It was as if all the pressure and sadness were released. I am embracing who I am more and more. I am also more aware just how much support friends and my university have been for me. I know that although my family and friends at times may not agree or support who I am they are learning to embrace who I am.
Anonymous Submission ****
My story begins when I was five and I was taken to my first ballet class. Even though my mother had to drag me there, I suddenly had found myself in a place where I didn't feel like I would be judged for not being like the other boys and wanting to play their stupid games. In fact, I was the only boy in the ballet class and I was totally free to be my femmy little self. I never really developed any lasting friendships with boys in school, and I always perceived myself as different than most of them. Throughout the rest of elementary school I would see other boys who would seem inexplicably similar to me, but we always strayed away from each other. I don't think we consciously recognized what we saw in each other or ourselves, but we knew the gay jokes told at recess were related to us and it was better to keep our heads low. It was only in ballet class or at home did I feel comfortable and myself.
I think my family assumed that I would be gay when I was growing up. Often when I was little I would put on my mother's lipstick or play dress up with my best friend. She would let me try on her dresses and we would perform made up plays for our mothers. My mom had worked at a gay bar when she was younger and had several gay friends so she never tried to make me behave in a gender-conforming way. However, I once asked Santa at the shopping mall for a "my size Barbie" so I could play and dress up like her and to this day my mother regrets never getting me one.
As I got older I started getting depressed in middle school. I think this had to do with several stressful home life issues, but also dealing with my sexuality. I had stopped expressing my feminine side and became very self-conscious of how different I was than most boys. I seemed only to fit in with the girls but I found myself distancing myself from them, probably because I perceived it as gay and therefore the most dreadful thing a middle school boy could be. I had even dropped out of dance classes.
The beginning of high school gave me a brand new start and really turned my life around. I went to a boarding school, which got me away from my family problems and gave me a chance to reinvent myself. About two weeks in, this girl told her friends that she had a crush on me. Those friends told me and then I asked her to be my girlfriend. This gave me a chance to be friends with all of these girls while still letting myself and others think I was straight. I also hesitantly began dancing again, but staying away from ballet which was too feminine.
Over spring break that freshman year of high school I suddenly let myself entertain the thought that I might have same-sex attractions. I had always been so busy in my life before worrying about whether I seemed gay and never had allowed myself to actually consider the idea, because deep down it excited me. My girlfriend also realized that something was happening with me and she also noticed that I was emotionally distancing myself. It was like we were becoming best friends instead of boyfriend-girlfriend. On the very day that I was going to break up with her, she told me that we should break up.
Shortly after, I told one of my friends that I thought I might be bisexual because I was finding guys attractive. The boarding school was located in the middle of a forest and at night we would walk through the tall trees and I would tell her all my secrets. After about another week we came to one of the outdoor fireplaces that had been lit and then abandoned by previous students. There was just one log left and it was softly glowing. While we were both watching the dying fire I told her then that I was pretty sure I was gay. Still gazing at the fire she nodded solemnly, acknowledging how difficult that was for me to say. As I watched the log crumble to embers, I thought of the entire life I would never have. I didn't really know how to be gay, but I knew we couldn't get married and I had never heard of gays having children. As cliche as it sounds, I was never going to be that man with a wife and kids living in a house with a white picket fence.
After coming out to myself, the rest was easy for me. My mom had actually told me a year before I came out, "If you were gay, I'm not saying you are honey, but if you were, I would be completely okay with that. I want you to know that." So when I actually did come out to her, she was extremely supportive. I'm pretty sure that my brother saw I was gay when I put it on my myspace and told my dad about it; however, my dad waited for me to tell him in person.
I felt that I grew up a lot that first year after I came out. I was completely out at school and I never felt like people tried to push me back into the closet. I no longer needed an excuse to hang out with girls who understood me. I allowed myself to express my feminine side again. Most importantly, I started dancing again, no longer stigmatized by the gayness associated with it.
Anonymous Submission ****
The Fairytale Coming Out
About a year ago I agreed to come out to my parents because someone on EC and I decided to do it on the same day. This really helped me because I wanted to tell them but I never could find a good time. I was waiting for the golden opportunity to tell them but it never came so I just decided fuck it and one night I told them I had something to tell them and it was serious so whenever they were ready to talk to me they should come get me. They surprised me by saying they were ready then. So I sat down and got ready to tell them. I was shaking and sooo scared but since I told them i had something important to tell them I couldn't back down.
So I just told them I'm gay. They were really shocked at first and I told them how I was still me. My mom was totally cool with it, my dad not so much. He said he didn't really believe me and was waiting for the right girl to some along. But they said they still loved me. After I left I kept thinking I made a huge mistake and I was still worried abut also relieved. After that my mom came up and gave me a hug and said she still loved me. That helped calm me down. To this day me and my mom can openly talk about it and its only a little awkward. My dad just doesn't talk about it. I think he's given up on me being the jock-ish son he wanted but I don't care. Its kinda awkward with him still but he's my dad and im his son and we get along for the most part.
Ok so I wanted to come out at school my freshman year but my parents thought it was a bad idea. They said I should wait till sophomore year so i have a smooth freshman year and can focus on academics. I didn't like the idea much but it make sense so I held off on coming out that year. It also let me get to know people without them just knowing me as "that one gay kid". I did tell a few friends who were girls but other then that I didn't tell a soul.
And the coming out story just kinda dies for a long time. It picked back up 2 weeks into freshman year, about 3 weeks ago. I am sitting at my lunch table filled with ppl I don't know or used to know and lost contact with. I sat there cuz I didn't know anyone in that lunch period that wasn't in band, and the band people were gone 1st half of lunch. So one of them is talking and I hear she is bi. We talk and I get her number for texting and stuff. I come out to her and we we talked a lot about LGBT stuff. She told me about the GSA at our school. I decided to join. The first meeting was a blast and I met a ton of cool people there. A few of them were out to the whole school.
After joining the GSA I decided to come out. I started telling people at the end of the day in math and it spread fast. I then put it on facebook. It was funny but weird because no one talked about it to my face. After a few days my friends talked to me about it. i was dreading this but it turned out great. They were glad I was able to come out and were cool with it. The talk about me was good too from what I heard but still not many are talking to me about it. Its been many months since it happened and things are better then ever. I made all new friends and I love them. Coming out made my life a million times better
Anonymous Submission ****
Want The World To Know
Aloha! I guess before getting into this whole thing I really should give a slight background.
When I was four years old we my mom, my dad, my sister, and my two older brothers went on a trip to disney world or land whichever one is in Florida. It was an amazing week, fun, we didn't fight, and everyone seemed happy, everyone except my mom, something was crushing her I didn't realizes this at the time but now, looking back I can see it, in my memories. When we got back my mom and dad sat us all down in the kitchen, they were on one side the four of us were on the other. That's when they told us, that's when my dad said "I'm Gay". Both my older brothers were crushed like they had lost their dad, my sister didn't see why it was a big deal and my response was " What's Gay!?" That's when my mom said "Gay, is.... It's when a boy likes other boys." Not realizing what she meant by "Like" I said " O Then I'm Gay too" Yup so I kinda came out when I was four.
So then my whole life everyone called me gay constantly, I used to scream in anger saying "I'M NOT GAY", I just didn't wanna be called something I wasn't although I guess really I was just denying it to myself, honestly I had never liked a girl ever I would just say I liked girls that people thought I did.
Then when I was twelve in the summer before seventh grade I was looking at porn trying to see what the hype was all about, however I couldn't tell what the hype was all about if you know what I mean, then I thought of how everyone would call me gay all the time, I wondered "Could it be true, Could I be" and I realized "o I am gay, whatever"
I made a plan in which I would tell my dad first thinking that he would understand being that hes gay himself.
Two years later I was on aim with one of my best friends, one of my only friends, I was just writing and then I decided to do a little preparation, I had no intention of actually telling her but I still wrote it, I still wrote "I'm gay super cereal" and sent it, then I flipped out, like I said I didn't mean to send it. So I grabbed the power strip of my computer and pulled it out. About an hour later I plugged it back in and low and behold she was still on, she instantly sent me a message asking me if I was serious, I told her I was and she said that she would always love me and that she would always support me, her sister had been looking on the computer when I told her, but that was okay her sister was one of my best friends too they were twins. Her sister said the same thing as she had and they still support me today and they're still my best friends today (This having been a year ago.) Anyway like two weeks later I told my other best friend over aim she said whatever and that she still loved me and all that, in those words actually.
So about two months later, my sister kept nagging me, she knew but I just wouldn't admit it. She kept saying "Ryan, come on, are you?" I knew there was no way of getting out of it but something held me back, something wouldn't let me say it. Then when we were riding bikes she stopped and said Ryan with the most serious facial expression I've ever seen, "Are you?", I sighed all I said was "Yea I am" then I turned around and kept riding my bike she followed and we talked about guys and why I had never told her for hours. She took it so well and has been great about it ever since.
One day, a month and a half after that, when driving home from a baseball game with my sister and two friends who knew I took out my phone in silence and text my mom saying "I'm Gay" we had a big long conversation all over text messages me telling her stupid things her asking stupid things, but in the end she was completely fine with it. Well not completely fine with it she acts as though she is but in reality she is convinced I'm bi and not gay, I've tried many times to tell her otherwise and she says she believes me but I know she doesn't. I asked my mom not to tell my older brothers, I wanted to when I was ready, she agreed that I should be the one to tell them. The next day while playing Fire Emblem in my room one of my brothers stuck his head in and said "Ryan, are you gay?" In a very curious voice. Well I was completely taken off guard and all I could say was "yea, yea I am", his response was "O really okay, Casey said you were but I didn't believe him". This made me angry, I went right to my mom and asked if she had told them, she said she had because she didn't want them to make fun of me when I told them. I never really got mad at her, she saved me the trouble of having to tell them myself.
So everyone was done well except my dad that is. I still haven't told him, I used to tell myself that I wasn't telling him because I didn't want him to think we were alike because we aren't we're nothing alike, he likes going to bars and clubs, and I hate dancing, His partner is a cross dresser and I don't think I would ever date a guy who's even kinda stereotypical but that wasn't and isn't the reason I won't tell him. In reality the reason I won't tell him is because I'm not ready to be completely out.
Anonymous Submission ****
Escaping a Personal Hell
My name is Jonathan and I am 21 years old. I suppose I had suspected that I was gay from a very young age. I was in the 4th grade when I had first suspected. Having two older sisters made my youth a bit easier I suppose because I could talk to them about guys and bands that they were into like Backstreet Boys and N'SYNC without them really catching on and so it was a bit of an outlet. Watching TV and news about homosexuals and how people treat them really made me sad and depressed so from 5th grade up until just recently I was extremely overweight. My mom was raised a 7th Day Adventist so I really had to be careful around her. My parents would always say things like "When you get married" or "Do you have a girlfriend?" I would brush them off and sort of ignore the subjets. My dad would also give me playboys thinking that it would make me happy. All I would do is take them and hide them.. at one point I actually forgot I had them. Eventually I tossed them all out and made up some lame excuse to tell him.
In school I would hang out with the less popular kids and play card games. In a way I would alienate myself from the majority of the population in the school. I would never have more than 1 or 2 close friends because I was so worried if I got around too many people I would just blurt out that I was gay. Also it probably didn't help that when the high school I attended found out that one guy was gay the students made him so upset that he eventually dropped out. I didn't want that to happen to me. In my junior year of high school it became dangerously close to me telling everyone. I had a crush back then on my best friend Nathan. So that year I went on a cruise with my parents and decided I would tell them. But when the right moment came all I got was an upset stomach and convinced them I was just sick. So.. Plan B.. I decided I would fess up to Nathan who had been so good to me, unfortunately he started up with the whole homophobic speech and would freak out if a guy said the wrong thing or was overly friendly and always would point out girls or talk to me about them and like with my parents I brushed off the topics and was quiet. I figure he might have known. So, being my stupid self, I put it off for a few more years.
This year I got to the point where I was about to pop. I had trouble sleeping, eating and would spend nights just laying awake thinking about how I would tell everyone. I was tired of living a lie and pretending to be straight. 11 years is long enough if not too long. When I came out to him, it was a night when he was working. My parents had gone to bed so I was waiting up for him to get home (he had been kicked out of his house so was living with us). Bad timing I think though. It was a week before April Fool's Day. When he got there I asked him to come into our computer room and sit down. I asked him "No matter what we will still be friends, right?" He looked at me with a rather confused look on his face and said "Yeah. Of course." There was a long pause before I realised that I was starting to cry. I wasn't sure how he would react. I did not want him to hit me or run out of the house and never speak to me again. I finally said "I'm gay." He sat back in his chair as though I had just knocked the air out of him. He told me he had figured it out a while back. Also since then he had told me that he is Bi.. I'm really glad we were able to tell each other and that now I have someone to talk to.
The next day I decided that I would tell my parents. I started to get an upset stomach again so I laid down on the couch and Nathan came out to the living room, sat down and asked "Whats wrong?" I told him "I have to tell my parents but I'm afraid of what they will say. I don't want my relationship with them to change that much. Most of all..I'm afraid of being disowned." I began to cry again (damn me and my emotions). He then said something that surprised me. He said "You have to tell them at some point. Just best to get it over with. Either way I'm here and will support you." I thanked him and said "I'll tell them tonight." After that I still spent all day thinking about it. That night I went out to the living room while they were watching TV and asked them "Can you turn that off for a minute please? I have to tell you both something." They were also about to ask Nathan to find another place to live because he couldn't stay there forever so I had to get it done before they booted him out. I looked at them both, starting to get a knot in my throat, and told them "I'm gay". My dad was amazingly fine with it and told me he had been a supporter of gay rights for a while prior. Granted he probably was trying to think of some strange joke like he always does to ease the tension of the situation. Bless him though he didn't think of anything. My mom was obviously in shock and was trying to hold back the emotional freight train that was headed my way. It has now been 9 months. My mom is still having trouble dealing with the fact of having a gay son but she's getting there. I no longer hide the fact that I'm gay and it has made me happier than I have been in a very long time.
Anonymous Submission ****
To start at the beginning…
So, to start at the beginning I will say I’m a 24 year old lesbian. I’m proud of it and not at all ashamed. I will say it took me until I was 23 to accept this about myself and that made my growing up and high school hard. I’m the daughter of a baptist mom and a Persian father. I was never really raised with a religion I kind of made up my own mind about that.
I was always the shy one in school and got picked on a lot and I tried to make friends with the people I thought would…protect me in a way. Pathetic, I know. But I have matured and grown up since then and am my own person. I had a lot of trouble in high school and never had a boyfriend until I was about 17. It wasn’t a real relationship when I think about it I was more in love with the idea of a relationship. I could never bring myself to sleep with any guys. When I was 18 I remember I was on vacation with my brother and I laid there literally praying to god that I wasn’t gay. I don’t remember what brought on that feeling or thoughts but I know I was afraid and in denial because of my family. Fast forward to when I was 23. I started watching glee :) and something about that show helped me realize it was okay to be different or gay. I had gay friends in high school and I was never homophobic luckily but I had my parents. I confided in my 3 closest friends (who are girls) and one was surprised but supportive, the second thought it was cool lol and she is still very supportive. The third says there is no way I can know that I’m a lesbian if I have never been with a guy. That raises the question of did she have to sleep with a girl to know she was straight? Anyways, I don’t talk to her much today. My first friend thought I was just afraid of rejection from guys but now she believes I’m a lesbian and supports me and so does the second one I told. Not long after that I fell back into the closet a little..I started dating guys again and then a few months ago I finally accepted it. My cousin, who is also gay, helped me through this whole process. His mom and my mom are sisters and his parents are a lot more religious than mine. He helped me understand the fact that we are who we are. It’s my life to live. Not my moms or my dads.
So, after I finally accepted it I felt so liberated and I wanted to tell everyone I knew lol I came out to a few close friends at work and now mostly everyone knows and are all supportive. Then came the day I told my mom. She was always accepting if my cousin and I thought she would be the same with me. I have never been comfortable talking to my parents about ANYTHING personal so this whole thing was awkward:
Me: hey mom do you like my outfit?
Mom: yeah it’s cute. Why?
Me: I’m going to wear it on a date tomorrow.
Mom: a date with who?
Me: this girl named Lisa (name change :) )
Mom: *laughs* no your kidding
Me: no I’m not
Mom: *laughs* no
Me: I’m serious ask (cousins name here)
She gave me a look that she usually gives me when I have done something she doesn’t approve of…like when I got my tattoo or my nose pierced. Then said: “Don’t tell your dad”
During dinner I was sitting next to my older brother. I wasn’t as nervous to tell him so I said the exact same thing to him that I said to my mom. This time when he asked:
Bro: a date with who?
Me: this girl named Lisa
Bro: *sees my phone vibrate on the table* oh, she just sent you a text :)
My brother was very supportive of me and hasn’t treated me differently. He hasn’t really brought it up about being gay in detail by asked about my date and if I was seeing her again…normal stuff.
On the way home from dinner my mom brought up the subject and asked:
Mom: when did you decide?
Me: *pissed that she thinks its a choice* it’s not a decision
Mom: *sighs* you know what I mean. When did you know?
Me: years, actually.
Mom: do your friends know?
Me: of course they do.
Mom: are they…too? (Her and my dad always think my friends brush off on me. Yeah,right. They are as straight as can be!)
Me: no they aren’t!
Mom: I still love you even though I don’t understand it. Don’t tell your dad. Maybe wait if there is a right time.
I could see she had tears in her eyes and I felt bad but it’s who I am and I didn’t want to lie anymore.
Before I told my mom I wasn’t afraid to tell my dad. She didn’t bring it up again until a few days later on the phone.
Mom: you have to understand parents have certain expectations for their kids. Like getting married and having children.
Me: *a little pissed off* I can still do those things.
Mom: I know you can get married….
Me: …and have kids.
Mom: I just want you to think of the path your going down.
Me: I’m not choosing anything. It’s not a choice.
Mom: okay. I just had questions. I love you.
When I hung up I felt really hurt an luckily I was on a break at work because I spent most of it crying.
One of my close guy friends at work was the first to know about me. I was kind of forced out because someone else was going around saying I liked said friend. Me being a lesbian, clearly that’s not true. I didn’t wan my friend to think I was into him so I caught him outside.
Me: I know (guy) said that I like you.
Friend: we don’t really pay much attention to what he says.
Me: I’m just saying I don’t because…I like…I like girls.
Friend: that’s cool. Me too. Then he gave me a high five and said we were good :)
We have only gotten closer since then and when I was upset about my mom he said if they can’t accept me then they are idiots. And he was there if I ever needed to talk.
I know how my dad is. I still haven’t come out directly to him. But I changed my “interested in” on Facebook to women and I post or repost lgbtq articles and pics that I like. I decided that its best not to tell him directly. He is very prideful and his family is somewhat close minded. I am not going to hide who I am. Hiding implies I’m doing something wrong and I’m not. I’m being me. I may not come out directly to certain people, my dad included, but if they ask I will tell them. If they ask about guys in my life I will correct them. I figure if my dad finds out on his own and accepts me he will ask me about it. If not he can ignore it. It won’t stop me from being me. It’s a 50/50 chance with him. I mean when he saw I got my nose pierced he was upset because it “wasn’t part of the Persian culture” I was like “dad, I was raised in America. I don’t know anything about the Persian culture!”
I will leave it up to him. My mom hasn’t really mentioned it. She mentioned once, “did you see that cute guy?” I sighed and said, “no, mom. I didn’t.” It has been awkward with her. Hopefully it gets better.
I suggest for anyone who is struggling to first accept yourself and no that there is nothing wrong with being lgbtq at all. It’s who you are. It will hurt if there is rejection but always have hope. I live on my own and indepently support myself so I was no reluctant to tell my family. If you live at home I suggest you tread softly. Just in case. And have a strong group of friends or some family who accept you for you.
Anonymous Submission ****
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