I attended my first Fresh Check Day in the fall of my freshman year. At the second stand I went to, the lady gave me a little elephant and asked me what my elephant in the room was. I blushed bright red as I wrote “I’m dyslexic” as my brain screamed at me “I’m gay.” I felt sad that I couldn’t admit that as she hung up my sign, I felt alone. But then I looked at the other hanging elephants, there were so many admissions, secrets. So many people who wrote what I wanted to so desperately. I wasn’t alone, there were other people here who were like me, people here that could support me.

That night I told my best friend that I was dating a girl and that I was scared that at my school, people might hate me for that. I found the support I needed in her. I found the community at my school that was accepting and understanding of me, some I like to think probably wrote some of those rainbow elephants.

My second Fresh Check Day, the first stand I visited was the elephant one. I took the elephant readily and wrote confidently in big letters. Thank you for helping me get there.