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When Stephanie Williams was growing up in rural Alabama, her world was orderly and precise. She lived in the same house in Autauga County until she left for college; her parents were very conservative Christians, and she worked hard to make them proud. She got good grades, played in the marching band, and, of course, preserved her virginity for marriage.

Stephanie did not grow up in a world where she felt free to ask questions, even of herself. She simply took the next indicated and agreed-upon steps, which eventually led to marrying a worship leader and having four children.

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Editor's Note: Raleigh Van Ness is a pseudonym used by Upworthy in order to protect the anonymity of the author.

It's hard to pinpoint the moment I knew I was queer. Growing up, I knew I was different. I liked boys because I was told I should like boys. I chased Chris for a kiss in Kindergarten on a whim and a dare—not out of any true want or desire. In fifth grade, I dated Brandon for his ball cap. It was a status symbol. It got me clout with the hip kids—the cool kids, you know, the girls who wore cropped sweaters and acid-wash jeans. While I had a steady stream of boyfriends in middle school, I did so to appear normal. To be normal. Plus, I couldn't possibly go to the Halloween dance alone, so I didn't.

I held Tyler's shoulders and swayed to Savage Garden.

Terrance sang every word of Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" in my ear.

But the truth is my eyes weren't for them, not at 10, 12 or 17. I was—and always have been—attracted to women.

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Nervously, I reached into my purse and pulled out my ID, flashing it to the bouncer. It was 6 p.m. and I'd just come from work. My roommates were supposed to meet me, but they were always late, and tonight was no exception. So, it was with a pounding heart that I faced the crowd alone, trying to find the least threatening person to approach.

It was my first Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) meeting, specifically for those in the LGBT community, and I thought I'd found my people. Queer and political, sign me up. But as I took a closer look at those milling around, I realized that the space didn't look that different from what I was used to. I was still in the minority, because of both my race and gender. I was still being talked at by men who thought they knew more than me. I was still around people who seemed to assume that everyone wanted sex.

One of the only other women in the group came up to me and said "It's good to see another one of us here." "Another what?" I asked, a bit confused. "Another lesbian," she replied easily, as if it were obvious.

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This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling that protects LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. In the 6-3 ruling, two conservative-leaning justices, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts, joined the four liberal-leaning judges in the decision. Gorsuch himself wrote the Supreme Court opinion.

The courts are supposed to be objective, so labeling justices as "conservative" and "liberal" always feels a bit reductive. But we live in a highly partisan era and it would be naive to ignore the politicized underpinnings of judicial appointments—especially in high-profile cases like this one, with a 5-4 split along conservative/liberal lines, which wouldn't have been surprising.

So how did these two conservative judges end up ruling in favor of the LGBTQ+ community, which is generally viewed as a liberal stance?

In a nutshell, they didn't. Not explicitly anyway.

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