I've known I was gay since 5th or 6th grade. Maybe even earlier, but those years were the first I can remember knowing something was different about me. When I realized that I wasn't attracted to the girls in my class, but the guys.
I never told anyone through high school, although at this point, I knew "yes I am gay" and "no this is not changing". I just focused on school and running. I don't know if people suspected. I would get called 'gay' by a few people, which only made me more determined not to tell anyone.
In college, I thought I was going to come out. I had even made a plan to before my sophomore year. Never did. I'm not sure why, I think part of it was going to a conservative Catholic college and not feeling like it would be completely supportive. I started dating my now ex-girlfriend, which was my attempt at living a "normal life." We had a good relationship, but something was always missing, obviously.
After college, I worked for a year. And then ended up in Richmond at VCU Brandcenter. This school was a totally different environment. So open and accepting of all kinds of people. And I finally had close friends that were gay. Still, I remained in the closet until the spring.
At that point, I just felt like "enough is enough." Also, I met someone who showed me what I had been missing all these years. So I came out to one of my close friends. At a Starbucks. And she had no idea that's what I was going to say. Then I told another friend. And another. And started shaking less when doing so. And then I told some of my guy friends (which is harder, in my opinion). And everyone was so awesome about it.
Now, everyone knows. Family included. I've never been happier. People finally know the whole 'me'. I can comment on the cute boy that walks by, and don't have to keep it to myself. Little things like that are so huge. And while I wish I had been brave enough to come out sooner, I can't change the past. I'm just happy to be where I am now.