by Chantal Bouchard
“Whatever our differences, we are all the same”
Growing up, I was not the girly girl type. I didn’t like to play with barbies or brush my hair, I preferred Tonka trucks and hanging out with the boys.
At school, I was known as the athletic and competitive girl. I spent most of my school years in the gym and competing. I didn’t have any problems learning in school and I had the facility to make friends. I had everything I needed, but deep down, I always felt like something was missing.
It’s only when I started University that it all came clear. I realized that I wasn’t alone. I met a girl and we secretly dated for many years. I felt happy, but at the same time sad for lying to everyone about it. This is when drinking came along. I thought it would make all of this go away, but it only stopped me from pursuing my dreams as a badminton player.
I soon realized that I was a mess and in order to accept myself, I needed to talk about it. I remember the night I decided to tell my parents. They were in shock, but man I felt relieved. At first, they had many questions and they didn’t understand what they had done wrong. After talking about it openly, they soon accepted my identity and stood by me. I was lucky. I wish I would have opened up before.
I then associated myself to the University’s LGBTQ2S+ community group and attended some PRIDE events. It made it easier to accept myself; I could feel supported and loved by people who didn’t even knew me.
Before graduating as a Social Worker, I met Louise, the most caring person I know. Although she had to deal with my drinking issues, she stood by me and we have now been together for the past 10 years.
In 2015, she requested that we start Crossfit together and I accepted the challenge. This is when my life turned around for the better. The minute I walked in that box, my heart beat started to rise, my energy kept going up, I could FEEL again. It took 4 months and I was already participating at my first Crossfit competition. I soon realized that I was more than my sexual orientation and this is when I decided that drinking would no longer be part of who I am.
We all live in a world full of prejudice, but at the end of the day, we just want to be loved. So always remember that whatever our difference, we are all the same.
What is your story?!
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