I am here because I have finally realized that I can no longer hide from myself; that until I come to know myself in the eyes and hearts of others I am only running from the truth. I am beginning to realize that the secrets I have fought so long to keep from the world have become a tortuous force that keeps me addicted and enslaved, and that until such time as I am willing to risk sharing these secrets openly and with courage I will be ruled and destroyed by them. My fear of being known has made me unknown by myself or others. I am isolated and alone in a world that appears hostile and remote. Where else but here among those whose lives reflect my own can I can hope to find myself? Here, among people who have suffered as I suffer, I can see myself clearly, not as the genius of my dreams or the fool of my fears, but as a person who is a part of a truthful, vibrant community of equals. In this place and at this very time I can at last be the person I really am. Free from fear. True in all things. No longer alone as in death, but alive to myself and to others.