Hey kids! My name’s John, I’m a 23 year old sophomore at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. I’m originally from Michigan, where I grew up kind of all over the place. My family finally settled down in suburbia when my mom met my now stepdad. Growing up for me was pretty normal on the outside, but on the inside I struggled with a pretty broken home scenario. Basically every horror story you can imagine happened at some point in my family history. It was especially hard for me growing up because I butted heads with my stepdad a lot and he was the “man of the house” and all. So anyway, I made it to 17 still struggling with my sexuality and a lot of other things that I’m sure some of you can relate to, and at that point I graduated high school and shipped off to the military. Perfect place for a budding homo right? So yeah, I did my four years there with my ups and downs, and toward the end of my enlistment, at 21 years old, began the coming out process. I told my active duty friends first, and most of them were incredibly supportive… but there were a few who weren’t. I lost one friend, and another tried to get me kicked out. That was the first hit that I took that showed me how hard it is for LGBT in American life right now.
After I got out, I started getting involved in some local LGBT orgs and basically getting myself out there, dating here and there, but mostly focusing internally. As I got more comfortable with myself, I came out more and more, until I finally told my mother. Now, I’m a mama’s boy so that was my first BIG coming out story… and her words exactly were “I’m sorry, I can’t help but think its wrong for you to be another man’s bitch”. I know right? Whoa. So, that was my first taste of real ignorance, and it came straight from my mom. She’s gotten better now… somewhat. I’m still working on her, and I have faith that as she gets exposed she’ll understand more of what it is, and she actually does try, so it kind of gives me hope. My stepfather on the other hand doesn’t know yet… specifically because he said three Christmases ago that if I ever come out, I’ll be disowned from my family… and right now my plate’s just too full to deal with that drama. At times, it’s hard to deal with (and I’m sure some of you out there have had similar family drama, so I know you can relate. Heck, I might even have it easy compared to some of you), but I like to focus my energy more on what I can make better… and it’s easier that I live four hours away from basically my entire family.
So right now I focus my time pursuing my Psychology degree, with a minor in Sexuality Studies, and being the Vice President of my campus GSA (Hopefully President next year!), being active in my general community, and being a Regional Ambassador for the Campus Q Team, which means I represent and advocate for college campuses in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. If you guys have any questions or comments for me, I really hope you send them my way!