Michael, in his own words: “For me, being gay really means nothing. I do not like when a person categorizes me because I am gay. The real Michael that the public meets is not defined by his sexuality. It is defined by who I am as a person, what I do as a philanthropist, and where I see my life going over the next 20 years. None of this is defined by being gay.
The biggest challenges have come from bad decisions in my life. Only 15 years ago, I was living in my car and eating out of a Captain D’s dumpster. I was determined not to let that happen again, and in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “I would never go hungry again.” Now, as a successful businessman, I get to see the results are working hard, being diligent at everything I do, and not letting anything except determination and generosity run my life.
I never really had a “coming out story.” My parents found out at a rough time in my life, but they already knew. My friends have always basically known, but again, my sexuality doesn’t run my life, so it didn’t really matter.
(With regards to the gay community in Sardis) Please??? There is no definable gay community here. Most that are gay, are so far in the closet, that they can’t even see the light of day. Mississippi will be the 50th State to approve same-sex marriage, and that is only if the Federal Government forces them. Sadly, the gay community that is “out,” are mostly drama queens, trashy drug using individuals who have no goals in life, other than having sex with anonymous men.
(Advice I’d give to my younger self) Younger Michael, be true to yourself. Don’t hide behind a veil of “straightdom.” Be who you are. The ones that like you…will love you. The ones that dislike you, will always be against you whether they think you are gay or straight. You are a good person. Let that shine through, and be the greatest person you can be.”