My family and I lived in secrecy for ten years after illegally immigrating from Armenia. I couldn’t work, attend a university, or do anything that basically required a social security number. When I told my parents I was gay, they immediately pulled me from community college, cut off my friends, and threw me into a conversion therapy - you know, where they make you “straight.” I had nothing to live for. After threatening to kill myself, the conversion therapist encouraged my parents enroll me back into community college so I could emotionally stabilize - for the treatment of course. I spent all my free time on the library computers looking for a support system, that’s when I found a volunteer from The Trevor Project who introduced me to a law firm that felt the eminent danger LGBT people faced in Armenia could made me eligible for asylum. The caveat, I had a .01% chance and ran the risk of my entire family’s deportation. The following nine months, they helped me pro bono to produce a three hundred page asylum petition. A week before my hearing, two men bombed the only gay club in Armenia. Grief was met with insult when a member from the Armenian Parliament posted bail for the bombers. This act of extreme homophobia, not terrorism, only strengthened my case. Two weeks later, I was granted asylum. As for the rest of my family, they’re finally in the process of obtaining their green cards. This past weekend, when I heard about the attack in Orlando, I felt the fear I ran from all those years creep back onto my doorstep. The only difference is this time, I’m not running away.