ABC, in his own words: “To me, being gay means embracing individuality and accepting that life will always be more of a challenge, but rather than view the challenge as a burden, we should view it more as a blessing. A blessing because it affords us the opportunity to be more sympathetic and emphathetic to the “human condition”. We are also blessed because we have every opportunity to not only educate those who are unfamiliar with our community but also to live in a society where we are constantly reminded that we have to accept ourselves. Additionally, being gay also means acknowledging that the only choice (because so many people think that being gay is a choice) is to not lead a life of deceit – to be honest with who we are and to be proud of the the choice we have made to lead honest and fullfilling lives.
The biggest challenge I have faced (outside of coming out to my family 10 years ago) is dealing with a community that is extremely “passionate” about physical appearance. I am healthy by nature, but sometimes I find myself wondering if my healthy lifestyle is a choice that I have made for the betterment of myself, or if I’m purely a victim of a community that puts a lot of weight on outer beauty.
The gay community in New York is diverse and that speaks to the city in itself, which is why I believe so many people (regardless of sexual or gender orientation) flock to the city. Anyone, with discipline and passion, can not only thrive here, but also find a community that embraces those particular “doctrines”. This concept is most evident in the gay community. Because it is so diverse, I view the gay community as pockets of smaller communities that make up a whole. We even have gay venues that cater entirely to varying interests and I am in constant awe by how proud the community is.
I articulated “I am gay” around Thanksgiving about 10 years ago. I first came out to my best friend, Jeannine, and then came out to close friends and family after. For my family, I essentially told my sister and told her to tell everyone else because at that point in my coming out process, I was constantly feeling emotionally drained so I thought it would be less taxing if she just “spread the word”. “