Yesterday Outsports ran the powerful coming out story of Preston Cope, an 18-year-old in rural Ohio who talked about the shame and hate he felt for being gay and how weightlifting helped him to avoid suicide.

His story has already had an impact, as witnessed from this amazing message sent to him by a Christian therapist and pastor:

Preston was understandably moved, writing: “Woke up to this today. Beyond humbled and truly touched to be making an impact on others, and yes Pastor [name removed], I fully accept your apology, we need more of you in the church and in the world. Much love to everyone today, hope it's a good one!”

It wasn’t long ago that Preston was so close to killing himself that he taped three suicide videos for his family.

But therapy and the unconditional love from his mom have helped him come to acceptance with who he is, and his story is making a difference to people he will never know. That’s the power of coming out and telling your story.