“Mom, I like girls … .”

That’s what I wrote five years ago in my coming out letter to my mom. I was 11 at the time I wrote the letter, and I didn’t know that my mom would become my fiercest supporter, giving me the courage and strength to walk through the halls of my schools as a proud, out lesbian.

It’s that same courage and strength that made me hopeful that the day would come when I’d no longer face physical attacks or name calling by other students at my school in Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District.

That day finally came last week.