Terry, in his own words: “I like to think that to me, being gay means simply that I am attracted to the same gender. Where I grew up if you didn’t play sports, you were gay or got called gay, so I though that liking art and music and anything that wasn’t football was closely associated with being gay. To some degree, maybe it is, but having seen a good portion of the world and meeting more gay people who have varied interests and desires helps me see that what makes us similar is merely who we are attracted to.
The challenges I’ve had I think have been personal, meaning, I had to learn to accept myself so I could find the strength to tell those who didn’t accept me that their opinion of who I am doesn’t matter. It’s not easy to focus and be productive in any kind of work if you are constantly worried what others think of who you are. The successes I’ve had? I suppose finishing art school, running a web comic I’m proud of and joining a terrific studio full of great artists here in Portland, Periscope Studio.
I’m not sure how I would identify the gay community in Portland. I tend to gravitate towards making friends and fostering great relationships more through game nights and movie nights and books clubs than going out to bars. I haven’t ever wanted to categorize or assume what the gay community would be like through my experiences at a bar or a club. I don’t feel that’s accurate. Peacock in the Park was fantastic as I felt a sense of community from Portland gays that day.
I came out to most of my friends once I came home from my two year stint as a Mormon missionary, but that was a bit easier considering I moved far away from my family. Several years ago I came out to my sister who was great but a year after that I came out to my parents through a letter. I felt it was the best way I knew for me to get out everything I wanted to say without being interrupted and leave the ball in their court. It didn’t go too well at first, but things are getting better.
I would tell my younger self to save more money and finish college quicker.”