A 17-year-old has gained fans around the world after coming out to her family on Instagram.
Ellisa, who says some members of her family hold homophobic views, recently shared images of herself at Chicago Pride, saying: “I’m gay and I fucking love me and that shouldn’t be a secret”.
“It’s terrifying thinking you’re alone in this world. It’s even more terrifying thinking the people closest to you, whether that be family or friends, will think of you differently for something you really can’t change about yourself,” she captioned the images.
“It’s terrifying having to hide a huge part of your life. Life is terrifying. But what I do know is you shouldn’t be terrified of love. Nobody should ever make you feel terrified of something so beautiful.”
Ellisa said that at Pride, she felt love like she’s “never felt before”.
“I saw strangers smile at each other, cheek to cheek, eye wrinkle to eye wrinkle. I saw people happy. It even made me question if I’ve ever seen true happiness before until now. I wish I could hold onto that feeling forever,” she said.
“I wish I could’ve felt that feeling sooner. I could wish so many things, but of those wishes, I hope you all feel love.”
She ended her post with a message to any other LGBT+ teens.
“I want you to know there’s people out there that love you, no matter what. We all love you,” she said.
“I hope you never feel the need to hide who you are. You’re not wrong for feeling the way you do. Please, forever, never let anyone make you feel like what you feel is wrong. Please, forever, love you. And never stop.”
Ellisa’s post on Instagram was liked more than 1,000 times, but the teen didn’t stop there.
She later tweeted “guess who just came out to their homophobic family via Instagram”, which was liked more than 72,000 times.
In a later tweet Ellisa confirmed she is safe and well after coming out.
She’s since received an outpouring of support from thousands of people online.
Ellisa, keep being fabulous 🙌