Coming out can be difficult – even more so when you’re a teenage member of a brazenly homophobic family.
As Pink News suggests, the stress, the anxiety, the looming questions about how you and your family’s relationship will be forever changed poses another set of hurdles unto itself.
Which is why when Ellisa decided to come out to her homophobic family it garnered a massive response online.
She came out on Instagram, using photos and videos of her at the Chicago Pride parade alongside a heartfelt message revealing her sexuality.
She wrote: “It’s terrifying thinking you’re alone in this world.
“It’s even more terrifying thinking the people closest to you, whether that be family or friends, will think of you differently for something you really can’t change about yourself.
“It’s terrifying having to hide a huge part of your life. Life is terrifying. But what I do know is you shouldn’t be terrified of love. Nobody should ever make you feel terrified of something so beautiful.
“Today I felt love. Not in a way I’ve ever felt before.”
Ellisa then continued to discuss the power of love and how we should never hide who we are.
The kicker? “I’m gay and I f…ing love me. and that shouldn’t be a secret,” she ended it, marked with a yellow heart emoji.
On Twitter, the teen, who’s since celebrated her 17th birthday, tweeted an accompanying message to her post on Instagram.
“Guess Who Just Came Out To Their Homophobic Family Via Instagram” she tweeted along with two photos of herself.
In one image the words “ME” are written over the photo.
Ellisa admitted in the comments that she was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with skateboard magazine Thrasher’s logo as a disguise for the parade.
“I had to leave my house incognito in this so my mom wouldn’t know I was going to Pride,” she wrote, alongside numerous other hilarious, revealing tweets.
The post has received more than 80,000 retweets and likes, as well as a flood of supportive messages.
it’s terrifying thinking you’re alone in this world. it’s even more terrifying thinking the people closest to you, whether that be family or friends, will think of you differently for something you really can’t change about yourself. it’s terrifying having to hide a huge part of your life. life is terrifying. but what I do know is you shouldn’t be terrified of love. nobody should ever make you feel terrified of something so beautiful. today I felt love. not in a way I’ve ever felt before. I loved the masses. I felt love like I’ve never felt before. I saw strangers smile at each other, cheek to cheek, eye wrinkle to eye wrinkle. I saw people happy. It even made me question if I’ve ever seen true happiness before until now. I wish I could hold onto that feeling forever. I wish I could’ve felt that feeling sooner. I could wish so many things, but of those wishes, I hope you all feel love. I want you to know there’s people out there that love you, no matter what. we all love you. I hope you never feel the need to hide who you are. you’re not wrong for feeling the way you do. please, forever, never let anyone make you feel like what you feel is wrong. please, forever, love you. and never stop. I’m gay and I fucking love me. and that shouldn’t be a secret. -love, ellisa💛