This is a nice story of self-discovery. As a genre, it’s no different (except in details) from any coming-of-age story wherein a youth gives up the universal fear of being different and learns to embrace who they are. Bravo.
I think you perhaps did not realize how powerful, given today’s race wars, your throw-away line “racism doesn’t always come in the form of an ignorant stranger” would be in (incorrectly) pigeonholing your message as just another shot in the race war.
Your story would be perfectly understandable without that one reference to “racism”. I don’t see “racism” as a hidden agenda anywhere else in your story. Unless my reading comprehension has gone haywire, I take that as just an unfortunate slip.