Terrell, in his own words: “As a young adult constantly trying to find myself in today’s world, being gay can feel like a proverbial layer of fat that is indefinitely hard to chew. The changing social landscape of the globe has made this defining characteristic less of a burden and more of a mark of resilience and compassion. Now as I continue to construct my own gay identity, I wear my homosexuality as a red badge of courage; hoping that my own personality and experiences will help to change and shape the collective perception of gay men.
The biggest challenge that I’ve had to face (and am continually facing) is building and maintaining my own self-worth within the gay community. Gay men (perhaps even more than straight women) face a slew of expectations regarding looks, body image, and lifestyle. As someone who has already struggled with these issues in the past, I have found my acceptance of myself into the gay community has only exacerbated these concerns. In short my biggest obstacle currently is to love myself, get over myself, and finally let go to let the love in.
I don’t have much of a coming out story to illustrate. The friends came first, the family (reluctantly) second and both experiences were overwhelmingly positive. As a bit of advice, I wish I had come out much sooner. I believe that waiting to come out did strip me of some of the emotional experiences that you miss out on when you’re not true to yourself. Above everything, I know that coming out has made me feel and act like a better person. At the end of the day, what’s more important than that?”