It took Liz Carlson ’25 a lot of soul-searching and questioning growing up before she was able to find self-acceptance. Standing in front of the Canterbury community during her Saints on the Hill presentation, Liz spoke of the internalized feelings that had profound implications on her life.
When Liz was in seventh grade, her sister came home and announced that she had a crush on a girl. “I said it was just a phase,” Liz recalled. “It made me uncomfortable at the time. I did not know who I was.” But later, when Liz met a girl on her hockey team whom she befriended and ended up dating, she had a realization. “I now knew why I had felt that way about my sister,” she said. “I was not accepting myself.”
Then an interesting thing happened. After not telling her parents about her relationship for a year, Liz posted something about it online, which they ended up seeing. As Liz tells it: “My parents called me at school and said, ‘Are you guys dating?’ I stuttered and said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said something along the lines of already assuming that. It was awkward that they knew, but I was glad they accepted me. A lot of people do accept you even if you do not realize it.”
Liz closed her talk by sharing some ideas on how to support others who may be facing the same feelings she had. “Just socially accept people for who they are. Whatever makes someone happy, let it happen,” she said. “Be an advocate for someone’s voice; if something seems wrong, step up and do the right thing.”