William, in his own words: “Being gay is a lifestyle. For me it encompasses my entire being, my soul, my spirit, my emotions, my well being. It’s more than just a physical attraction to the same sex, it gives me an identity that is priceless. When I was much younger I always prayed for the gay to go away, and looking back I’m so glad it never worked. I’m not really sure how my life would be different if I weren’t gay. Who my friends would have been, where my career has taken me, and where would I be living.
Growing up I had challenges just from being bi-racial. Folks always “assumed” I was gay when I was younger, however I always denied it. Being in the South having a white mother who raised 3 brown children was probably the toughest challenge b/c of the looks, and comments we’d get when we would go out in public. My best triumph in my life was when I saw my mom running out of my school saying “You did it, You did it”, “My son is going to college”. Being the first one in my family to go to college will forever be the biggest triumph in my life.
This community here in DC is a unique, ever changing and exciting community. Well let me rephrase my community here in DC is that way haha! There are so many communities here that every person can find their group. That’s what I did, my community is the kickball community/17th street community. My guys are humorous, smart, attractive, caring, athletic, kind. The list goes on and on. We have our ups, we have our downs, but we have been and will always be there for each other if one falls. Being able to call one of my boys up with an issue, or a shoulder to cry on is priceless. This city in general can be overwhelming and if you don’t have that support network you may seem lost. I just love the fact that if any of us are having a rough day we can call each other up, get a glass (or 3) of Chardonnay and let it all go.
The first person I told I was gay was my Aunt at the age of 14. I then told my sister at 15. The last person I told, which is what I feel is my “true” coming out story was my mom. 1 day before leaving for UNC-Wilmington I sat her down and told her I needed to tell her something. I began to explain my feelings and how I knew I was gay and that I wasn’t confused, lost, etc. She looked at me, tears in her eyes and she left. She went to her best friends house had a glass of wine and came home. By that point I was a mess, I was in tears, angry that I made her sad and upset that I didn’t notice her come in. She grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug and said “You are my son, and I love you, no matter who you love I will always be here for you”. Those words hit like a brick b/c I have seen my friends not be so lucky with their families and coming out. She then looked at me and said “Why was she the last to know”. I told her that I was afraid she wouldn’t love me anymore and that she’d kick me out of the house. She just laughed and from that moment we’ve been like best friends.
You know Cheers? Well JRs on 17th St is my Cheers. When I first moved to DC in 2008 I stumbled upon this place and immediately was welcomed with 2 playing cards. These were clear playing cards and the bartender was like these will get you free drinks cutie. I got my first round and sat in the corner by myself and just smiled and looked around and took it all in. JRs has been my go to spot, my safe haven, my beginning. This place has given me more than it could ever know, and I’d love to thank Dave for always thinking of me when it comes to new, fun and exciting things that have continued to build the community I am apart of here in DC.
If you want to know more about William just go to a Stonewall Kickball game and ask where can I get a popping fan: “William has one I’m sure”. Where can I find glitter: “William probably has some”. Who is that yelling, and reading a queen like a kindergarten text book: “Yep that’s William, hahah”. I try to live a fun, caring, authentic life and will always tell it how it is.”