“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“When will you have a girlfriend?”

My Lebanese grandmother asked me for the 100th time. “I don’t know…” I laughed and quickly changed the subject. See the thing is, I won’t ever have a girlfriend because I’m gay.

I grew up in suburban Maryland and went to an all-boys school from 3rd grade until college. While I enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, and football for our school teams, I sometimes felt out of place talking to the guys after practice.

I didn’t feel like I could really be myself. But I also didn’t see myself in the stereotype of a gay man. So who was I? Who was I supposed to be? Is this just a phase?

In the LGBTQ community, we don’t come out once. We come out whenever we interact with someone new and are faced with questions with an expected type of answer: Tell me about your family. Are you dating someone? Who is your plus one for the holiday party?

As I leave HBS, I am determined to be an example for that gay kid in Maryland who doesn’t have a role model.

It’s okay to like sports.

Geek out on innovative technology (I do).

It’s okay to be you.

It’s great to be you.

— Mike Anders