What does the word queer mean to you? How do you identify?
The word queer to me has always had such a gender bending vibe to it. Even though my pronouns are he/him/his and I’m gay I wouldn’t be offended if someone called me a queer… it’s not as threatening as it has to sound growing up basically.
Where are you originally from and explain how was it growing up/living in Kentucky?
I grew up in Leitchfield, Ky., and honestly being one of five other biracial kids that were in my primary class, I never really was picked on. When I look back on my childhood it’s the typical 90s dream. I loved going to school, I had plenty of friends, and my mom let me play with barbies and hot wheels. I remember moving to bowling green for college as soon as possible. That’s when I really tapped into who I was inevitably coming.
What would you say to any person struggling to come into their own identity?
This life isn’t meant for us to sit in the closet. You can’t worry about what others think, live the way you want to live. We have the ability to create and maintain our happiness if we just find a way to let go. There’s something freeing knowing that self love is by far one of the most achieving goals one can obtain and we’re all capable of it.
What issues do you see in the queer community?
I see a lot of resistance to change, others not supportive or feeling unheard when we’re all human and we should all have equal rights. What’s so complicated about that?
What do you think would solve those issues?
For starters I think coming together and continue raising awareness and showing anyone who doesn’t stand for equal rights that we won’t back down. You have to give it your all, or else who would fight for us?
Do you feel excluded from the “mainstream” queer community? Why or why not?
I’ll be real honest I’m not always up to date with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I haven’t cried to every episode of Queee Eye… it’s not that I don’t enjoy either, I just like to savor it. I binge other things all day, I’ve just never been that into reality shows maybe? Like don’t ask me about the house wives of wherever cause I am clueless to all that.
Where do you feel “at your best” (safe, happy, fabulous, comfortable, etc)
I feel at my best surrounded by my closest friends. One of my favorite things about adulthood is choosing your own family. Or perhaps on Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.
Who influenced the life you live now?
My older brother ive always been able to rely on and look up to. He’s taught me so much about being your truest self and no problem is too small to come to him for. I would truly be lost without it guidance