Brad Goreski is proud of who he is.
On Thursday, in honor of National Coming Out Day, the celebrity stylist shared an emotional post about the struggles he faced in high school.
“I’ve always expressed myself through fashion. I think it was my way of communicating to the world something that I wasn’t yet ready to say,” Goreski, 41, wrote alongside a throwback photo from his teenage days. “This was taken at a high school dance, one of the very few I attended.”
“I was bullied so much at school I never wanted to spend more time there than I had to,” he continued. “I was terrified every day that I was going to be beaten up by someone, so I ate my lunch in the stairwell with a couple of friends (Karen and Kelly) who were nice enough to sit with me because I was afraid to go into the cafeteria.”
The shot, which features Goreski in a green sequined button-down shirt with yellow suspenders and matching platform sneakers, was especially important to him as he reflected on his life years later.
“This photo makes me happy though because this is me,” he said. “Sequins, platform shoes (I had them custom made), tweezed eyebrows, dancing my heart out. It’s around this time I came out of the closet. And my life finally began. #nationalcomingoutday #tbt”
Goreski recently tied the knot with longtime love Gary Janetti in December.
After 16 years together and three years of being engaged, the couple wed aboard the luxury cruise ship Seabourn Sojourn in an intimate ceremony officiated by the ship’s captain shortly after setting sail in the Caribbean.
“We are so excited to finally be making it official after 16 years,” the grooms told PEOPLE exclusively. “Having our families celebrate with us in such a beautiful surrounding was everything we wanted it to be.”
RELATED VIDEO: Coming Out Stories: Tyler Oakley
The E! fashion host was not the only star to post a tribute to National Coming Out Day on social media.
“It’s the greatest gift you could give yourself,” DeGeneres captioned the sweet snap of herself giving de Rossi a kiss during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She also added the hashtag #NationalComingOutDay to her post.