Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Every full moon, my family would make offerings to our deceased ancestors. As the eldest son of the eldest son, I am given the distinct honour of having my name be the first called when praying to our ancestors. Even though I was younger than my cousins, my grandparents revered me more as I was to carry on the Phan bloodline. As a young child, I revelled in the extra attention and thought about how great it would be that my son would have the same privilege.

As I got older, things started to change. In elementary school, I would swoon with the girls over pictures of Justin Timberlake. Even though I was the only boy, I thought it was a normal bonding experience with my female classmates. It was not until I was 15 that I noticed I was blushing around SungWoo. I would get butterflies in my stomach whenever I was around him; when SungWoo started to consume my thoughts, I knew I was gay.

While thoughts of SungWoo brought happiness, I was worried about having my secret revealed. I was scared of my family’s reaction and feared that they would send me to some institution to get this “mental” disorder fixed. I replayed in my mind the image of my father with his buried brows and sunken lips telling me how disappointed he was in me for...

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