I grew up in Northbrook, IL, just outside Chicago. Though I have fond memories of my childhood, growing up wasn’t always easy.
Simply because of my sexuality, I became a victim of bullying. I still have vivid memories of being called “gay kid” during recess and being anxious just to walk down the hallways of my middle school. I retreated inside myself.
As I moved through high school, I grew stronger and more comfortable with my identity. Towards the end of high school, I began to come out. Mostly, I was met with acceptance and support. My life was pretty good, but I couldn’t forget the bullying I experienced, or the thousands of LGBT youth who experience worse every day. So I started to become involved with LGBT activism, first through my writing, and then various political groups on my college campus. I began to focus on support for LGBT youth.
I’ve long been a supporter of President Obama. The progress our community has achieved during his presidency is unmatched, but what pushed me to throw myself into this campaign were his administration’s pivotal actions in support of LGBT youth.
President Obama hosted the first-ever White House conference on bullying prevention, signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, and released an “It Gets Better” video, sending messages of hope and support to LGBT youth across the nation.
This summer, I’m working as an intern on the LGBT Vote team in order to re-elect a President who advocates for and supports the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth across the United States. A President who makes me believe that one day, my story will be an anomaly, rather than the reality for far too many LGBT youth.