Category: City: Vashon Island, Washington

Tyler, Acrobat/Circus Teacher, Vashon Island, Washington

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin T ruong
photo by Kevin T ruong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Tyler, in his own words: “Being gay has meant very different things to me in different stages of life. When I was young it meant deep shame and pain–I thought my attraction to guys was a curse. It meant feeling different. Being gay meant severing my sexuality and desire in ways that later took years of undoing. It meant many years of hiding a very basic human part of me.

Now, after numerous years and a lot of good (and hard) therapy, I can wholeheartedly say that it is a gift (that said, I don’t always feel it is easy). Being gay–being different–is an opportunity to expand humankind’s imagination of desire and of what love can be and do. This truly is Good news. For me, being gay has been an invitation to take a deep and difficult look into my own life and story, and I feel grateful for that.

My coming out was a slow process. Although I didn’t have language or even a context for what being gay was when I was young, I was aware of my difference quite early on. When I was 19 years old I called my immediate family together and told them that I was attracted to men. The home and environment that I grew up in was a very conservative Christian one and so at that time in my life I was very much not okay with the idea of being gay. I told them that I was never going to date a guy and that I wasn’t relationally attracted to men, which at the time I entirely believed myself.

After college I began to realize that I really needed to address my sexuality and I began to wonder if sexuality was indeed a gift from God–even for me–as I had been told it was for everyone else growing up.
I began dating men when I was 25, and it wasn’t until 28 that I officially came out to myself and to my parents.

I think the biggest challenge and greatest success are one in the same–the process (and ever-ongoing process of) accepting the many and interconnected parts of myself. The work of undoing; taking down the walls of the closet that I built around myself to protect me from a world that could not bless my difference.

I’ve often wondered about what advice I’d give to my younger self, and whether I’d be receptive to it or not….but I think I would say, “Be kind to yourself, Tydo.”

Dustin and Alan, Owner D & A Gardens and Senior Manager, Vashon Island, Wash.

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Dustin and Alan, in their own words: “Being Gay has meant many things to us throughout our lives. As young boys growing up in small towns 20 miles apart in the Willamette Valley, we both encountered a realization that we were a little different. What different meant didn’t become obvious until we hit middle school and noticed that according to other boys girls no longer had cooties even though we still thought so. This led us to begin wondering why we didn’t “like” girls in the way that others did and that boys still seemed to be as cute as they always were. This appeared to be wrong in some way, so we kept quiet about our thoughts in fear of being made fun of.

As we approached our early 20’s life started to become more clear about who we were and what society outside of a small town did accept and allow for. In our late 20’s is when Dustin and I finally found each other, while Living in Portland, OR. The mental change that both of us could love a man and be with them for the rest of our life was becoming a reality.

Today we live on Vashon Island where the culture allows us to be true to ourselves Living as Man and Man as we will spend the rest of our lifes. On October 12, 2014 it will be 5 years of us being a couple and what we have, has and will continue to last through any adversity life has provided and will continue to offer.

The key to our success is to prevent those who do not allow us to be who we are from entering our life and for those who cannot support us to remove them from it. There are many of wonderful people in the world and if you allow good in it will find you. “