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Gut Feelings: Being Gay with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

Love has never come easy to me. Living with chronic illness and the aftermath of three surgeries, I struggle to let people in – to be intimate during sex.

It all started when I was 11. Sitting in a hard-backed, plastic chair, the doctor told me I had familial adenomatous polyposis (or FAP for short). They explained to me that tiny wart-like lumps called polyps (or adenomas) were growing inside my bowel and rectum and if untreated, they would turn cancerous. Fast forward seven years – and the removal of my bowel and the lining of my rectum – I came out to friends and family as gay.

It took me years to figure out what it meant to be gay and to understand how I fit into the world. Burdened by family and medical trauma, I found it difficult to process it.