March 07, 2018 05:43 PM

NOTE FROM JESS CAGLE, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, PEOPLE AND ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:

In the moving comedy-drama Love, Simon (in theaters March 16) Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel star as the parents of Simon, a high schooler played by Nick Robinson who struggles to tell loved ones that he’s gay. Acceptance in America has increased dramatically in recent years, but coming out as LGBTQ is still a profound and often traumatic experience.

PEOPLE and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, along with GLSEN, the non-profit that fights to make schools safe for all kids, invited individuals from all walks of life to share real-life coming out stories. COMING OUT STORIES (produced by Ryan Buxton) can be seen at people.com/comingoutstories and on PeopleTV (download the app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device).

It didn’t take 18-year-old Andrew Guedea long to realize he was “different.”

The high school senior says he was just 11-years-old when he first revealed to a few close friends that he is gay. About two years later, he came out to his mother, who he says was very supportive of his identity.

“Coming out at a young age, I don’t regret it because I feel its brought me to where I am and its made me grow in a lot of ways,” Guedea says. “Growing up I always knew I was different, I just didn’t know how to describe it.”

 

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