10/13/2011 11:46 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

True LGBTQ Stories: Meet Jake Conway (VIDEO)

I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit forum for true lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. Earlier this year, founder and Executive Director Nathan Manske and two companions successfully completed a four-month, 50-state Story Tour collecting LGBTQ stories from towns and cities across the country. They're pulling some of the most relevant, important and sometimes just enjoyable stories from their archives and sharing them with HuffPost's Gay Voices.

On our visit to Connecticut, we met Jake Conway, the former editor of Q Magazine, Yale's first LGBTQ magazine. He sat down with us to share his story of coming out to his parents on winter break.

"[My mom] said, 'I'll support you in whatever life you choose.' And at the moment I turned to her, and with this deep sense of shame I said, 'Mom, it's not a choice.' I almost felt guilty when I was telling her. It's like, I wouldn't choose this life. Why would I choose this life?"

What I expected to be just a coming-out story turned turned out to be a thought-provoking sentiment on the "ultimate sense of pride."

"I remember thinking back to that conversation with my mom about it not being a choice. I look at myself today and I say, 'It shouldn't be, "I'm gay, I was born this way, I can't change it, pity me." It's, "I'm different, and there is nothing wrong with that."' ... Even if I chose to live this life, what's wrong with that? And, for me it's the ultimate sense of pride."

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