Nathan Natas, I couldn't agree more. You're incredibly strong to leave a faith that puts up so many roadblocks between you and the world beyond, the world they're always condemning and attacking. You'll discover the world isn't really the scary place they said it is. It's... really nice in fact. It holds a lot of opportunities, a lot of struggles too, but a lot of opportunities for growth and discovery and adventure and connection with others.
You're taking the first step to getting what you really want in life. To being who you really want to be. You're breaking a cycle repeated for over a century or more, three generations, that's decades upon decades of time. I also broke a cycle like that, I was the third generation in my family raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church. It was so hard breaking away from that, and it's taken years even after I left the faith to fully heal from what they did to me in that church, but I can't tell you how happy I am today that I left, that I broke that cycle, my life is so much better than it used to be, so much better. You can do this. You're so strong. Don't ever give up until you're living your own life for yourself and whoever else you choose on your own terms.
How did your parents take it, by the way? Did they react worse, better, or about like you expected? I want to tell you too like Nathan Natas said you have every right to be angry at the people who misled you and misled your family. I'm furious, absolutely furious, at the pastor of the church I went to as a kid who threatened us with hell every Sunday, I am so angry at him for traumatizing me as a child like that, for shaming me and frightening me. Do whatever you need to do to accept and experience and eventually, not today, not tomorrow, but on your own time table, get rid of that anger so you can live in the moment and enjoy every second you're alive.