I came out when I was 19, which was really difficult. I was raised in a really strict Baptist church home. Growing up, I would always hear the homosexual story in the Bible: homosexuals are going to be condemned. It didn’t register until I realized what I was. In second grade, I realized I wasn’t like the other boys in my class. I didn’t know what it was, I just knew I wasn’t like them. And then it was middle school when I heard gay for first time and what it meant. And I was like, ‘Oh my god — not going to say that to anyone.’

I never said it to anyone. Not my best friend. Not to anyone. I hid it really deep inside, and I hated myself for a long time because I was — I’m still a Christian — I was always fighting with the ‘why would God make me this way and then say it’s wrong?’
— Casey Stegall