Patrick, in his own words:“What does being a gay man mean to me? Well, I feel that I’m no different than a straight man except for that I am attracted to men and ultimately would like to share my life with the right guy and build a life together. The gay community is changing fast. Not too long ago, it wasn’t the norm to be “out” and I’m very fortunate to be living in a different time. That being said, I think we are still going through a period of change and we are the ones that will set examples for future generations and for others that are born gay.
I’ve been very lucky with being gay and luckily did not have to deal with bullying. That being said, I didn’t come out until I was 20. When I did, everyone was surprisingly supportive. It made me realize how much I was holding myself back with such a heavy weighted secret. Once it was out in the open and I was truly being myself, I felt free and that’s when I feel I really started to embrace life more and reach for my dreams.
The gay community is pretty diverse yet supportive in Vancouver. I’ll be honest, it took me a while to find a solid group of friends instead of a bunch of acquaintances, but once I did, I felt comfortable in the community and more confident in speaking to people I didn’t know.
If you could give myself advice before coming out, I would say that people have always loved me for me and that won’t change after I come out. In fact, once I come out, I’ll be even more myself and more free to be there for others rather than focussing on my own fears.”