Evan, in his own words: “I don’t know what [being gay] quite means to me, but it feels like a gift. It’s like life gives you this hall pass that exempts you from everyone else’s expectations and just shoves you out the door. And that freedom is not just limited to who you sleep with — it also kind of frees you up to be more selective with and committed to your community, yours friends, your career, etc. It’s just like Hamlet said, “you can go your own way! (Go your own way!)”
Now, I’m not saying straight people don’t have the same ability or opportunity, but when you’re gay, you already have to go through these dramatic lengths to start living your truth, so it’s not that much extra effort to be like, “…and I also don’t believe in God!” The marginal cost of pushing it that one extra step is minimal. When you’ve already risked throwing away all your important relationships in order to be honest about who you are, the decision of whether or not you’ll look weird wearing superhero T-shirts in public becomes inconsequential.
[My coming out story] is pretty mundane. Because of the way I was raised and my particular taste in men, I didn’t really catch on to the fact that I was gay until I was, like, 17 or 18. With my conservative Christian upbringing, being gay just wasn’t an option I even considered for myself growing up, and I wasn’t able to identify my sexual awakening for what it was at the time (in retrospect it was obvious, but I wasn’t aware back then that sexual attraction to fat, hairy dudes was a thing). So, I didn’t come out to myself — or anyone else — until I was 19. While that was really exciting at first, I hit some traumatic “coming out” road bumps early on that compelled me to slow the whole process down. I didn’t finally come out to my parents (and, by extension, everyone) until I was 22. But, I will say, it’s been pretty smooth sailing since then. My parents and my family have been awesome, and in general, life got a million times easier when I didn’t have to hide this big part of who I was. My relationships with people have become much more genuine than they were back then.
[With regards to the LGBTQ community in Portland] Couldn’t really tell ya, but from the outside looking in, it seems great!
[With regards to successes and challenges] Nothing really comes to mind —I’ve led a pretty charmed life. I guess, if anything, it’s been a struggle having a face that’s almost too symmetrical.
[With regards to advice to my younger self] Oh god, this is the question that always makes the queens on Drag Race cry. I was really stubborn growing up (and probably still am) so I doubt even face-to-face advice from a time-traveling older version of myself would’ve penetrated. I’d have to pull some serious Inception-level shit in order to get incorrigible, middle-school-aged me to listen. But, assuming it could work, my advice to Young Me would be to take better care of your body during puberty, because the scars you pick up from that time, both physical and emotional, are never going away. They may heal over, but they’ll always be with you.
And also, start playing with your wiener a little bit sooner. It’s healthy and totally normal.”