Over the years, Design*Sponge has grown and changed along with the people reading and writing this site. I’ve felt so fortunate to share in the news of weddings, births, new jobs and businesses, moves and other life events that have taken part in our community. And I am deeply aware that it is both an honor and privilege to share updates of my own here as well. Today I wanted to take a brief moment to share something that is very personal, but very much about the strength and goodness of the people who make up our online community.
Yesterday I turned 32 and had the honor of spending the afternoon with my closest friends (that’s us, above) learning the dance routines to songs by two of my favorite singers, Robyn and Beyonce. As incredible of a birthday surprise it was, after I came home I was overcome with an even greater feeling of love and appreciation. My friends have stood by me through some truly turbulent times and I feel endlessly grateful to have people in my life who not only understand and accept me for who I am, but love me for it. That feeling is so special and meaningful to me because it is one I haven’t felt, or allowed myself to feel, for a long time.
Two years ago I went through the process of coming out to my friends and family. It was, at times, painful and scary. Coming out is different for every person, but for me, it was very much about learning to slowly accept and then love myself just the way I am. Despite my worst fears of losing the people I loved most, I have been incredibly fortunate to find the support of not just my friends and family, but members of the design community as well. In my heart of hearts, I never expected to hear from people I’d never met, offering words of support, guidance and love. But it was those words and that support that got me to where I am today.
Since the first day I started this site, I’ve done my best to be as open and honest myself as I can. But for a long time I’ve struggled with holding a part of myself back. And that’s made me feel disconnected and not as close to the community of people I love and admire as I would like. So today I wanted to take a moment to proudly share with you the full story of who I am. I’m the daughter of loving parents, Chris and Elaine, I’m a blogger, a Southerner, a hopeless lover of animals, patterns and anything shiny- and I’m also gay. That fact may make no difference to some of you reading, but being able to be 100% myself here means the world to me. This website is my home. And the people who write and read here are my family. And I want to be as close and connected to my family as I can. Thank you for being an incredible community of people who make me feel safe and supported enough to be myself. Love, Grace