Todd, in his own words: “Being gay to me means being a man who is attracted to and loves men, but also masculinity in its many iterations. I hear many gay men say that they feel like being gay is not that big of deal. For me it is still a fairly big deal, I feel that we are a special variation in the human species and are unique, both biologically and socially.
I feel like I have had very few obstacles as a result of coming out. Quite the contrary, it has opened doors that I otherwise never would have passed though and my life has been enriched as a result.
I came out 20 years ago this year. My parents read a college paper I wrote while I was studying abroad in Germany, in which it was obvious that the author was gay. It ended up being the ideal situation since they had a whole year to process it while I was overseas. They never said a word about it until I came out to them after I returned home to Portland. I felt compelled to come out when I did being that we were fighting one several anti-gay ballot measures that popped up in the 1990s, all of which were defeated at the ballot box by Oregon voters, thankfully. These events, although trying, did have the positive effect of compelling many people to come out. Portland has become more and more gay friendly ever since.
My advice to a younger version of me would be to be patient and enjoy life as it unfolds. It’s important to have goals but ultimately life is a process, not a plan. It’s an awesome journey and everyone has something to contribute that adds value to this world.”