Michael
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When Greg told his story, it made a profound impact on a boy named Michael. "When I was 12 years old, I knew I was gay. I was really struggling trying to come to terms with it," Michael says. "I was definitely afraid if my parents found out I was gay, they were going to disown me."

Michael says though he was not allowed to watch The Oprah Show back then, he would sneak peeks while his parents were away at work. "They would usually come home about 5 o'clock, and you were on about 4 o'clock," Michael says to Oprah. "I was watching your show and in between commercials I was running to make sure the car wasn't pulling up to the driveway."

Michael says seeing Greg speak openly about being gay was a first step in his coming out process. "I still knew that I wasn't going to be able to come out anytime soon, but it planted the seed within me," he says.

In his freshman year of high school, Michael says he realized his chance to come out. "My mother sat me down and asked me, did I think I was gay? And in that moment, I thought about Greg saying that he was going to be living a truthful and honest life, and I knew that I had an opportunity to mirror that," he says. "So I told my mother, 'No, I don't think I'm gay. I know I'm gay.'"
FROM: "Coming Out" on The Oprah Show: 25 Years of Unforgettable Guests
Published on January 25, 2011

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