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This Woman's Coming-Out Advice To Her Younger Self Is Too Pure For This World

"I know you're worried to come out to your friends right now. But don't worry. They're gonna be your bridesmaids one day."

Posted on August 20, 2018, at 6:51 p.m. ET

Grace Baldridge, 27, recently got married and spent some time honeymooning in Hawaii with her new wife, Elizabeth. But while the couple was off celebrating their nuptials, a photoset Baldridge had absentmindedly tweeted just before leaving went viral.

The first image shows Baldridge as a high school student at prom, surrounded by her three best friends. The accompanying photo shows her surrounded by the same friends — this time at her own wedding as her bridesmaids.

Dear Grace-At-Prom, I know you’re afraid to come out to your friends right now. But don’t worry. They’re gonna be your bridesmaids one day.

She captioned the tweet to her former self, writing, "I know you're afraid to come out to your friends now. But don't worry. They're gonna be your bridesmaids one day." By the time she checked her phone, the tweet had been liked more than 40,000 times.

"I definitely didn't expect it to connect with as many people as it did," Baldridge told BuzzFeed News. "I was off my phone for most of the honeymoon, so checking in to see so many retweets was surprising. I loved seeing the responses from other people with similar stories of friendship."

Baldridge said the girls have all been friends since the third grade, but grew closest in high school. "We all went to an international school in Waterloo, Belgium. None of us were raised in our parents' home countries, so we really bonded like family."

She came out to each of her friends at different times and, she admitted, sometimes more than once.

"As is the case for many, coming out was a process for me. However, their acceptance was never a process, it was immediate. Even when I couldn't express what was going on, they were always patient and supportive."

Many Twitter users commented on the photos, voicing their emotional responses to the genuine message.

A few were even moved to share their own stories of coming out to close friends:

"If I could give myself advice back then," Baldridge said, "I'd say, 'When you outgrow the dark, lonely security of this closet you've built, when you feel brave enough — your friends are waiting for you right outside. They've been there this whole time. Whenever you're ready.'"

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.