Folks in the LGBTQ+ community are usually lumped into one category; however, we're all different in our own special way. The "I Am" series interviews folks, from all over, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and so on in hopes to bring awareness to the differences and similarities we share. Participants are asked the same questions as to highlight how one question can have unlimited possibilities. There is limited editing on these questions to maintain the integrity of the interview.
Age: 25 - I am a virgo-libra cusp.
Gender identity: Male
Sexual identity: Gay/Homosexual/Queer
Where do you live now? Chicago
Did you live anywhere else between Hometown and current location? If so, where?
What’s your story? What do you do / what are your hobbies / fun facts about you / things you like to do in your free time? Photo by Morgan Durrah / Used with permission
My story is hopefully just beginning. I love people and capturing the beauty in all types of people through photography and writing. I love to read and adore going to the movies.
If you are an artist or musician, please explain what you do.
My artistic practice primarily focuses on writing, both narrative and poetry, but I dabble in film and photography as well.
If you’re not an artist or musician, please further explain one of your most favorite hobbies?
What does your gender identity mean to you?
Not much; I “feel” like a male and have never felt otherwise but I embrace fully the fluidity of gender.
What does your gender expression mean to you?
The way I present myself in clothing, mannerisms and appearance. It does not mean much to me. Blending of all these things is important to me to express the full range of the human experience.
What does your sexual identity mean to you?
I love being gay. It means community to me as it ties me to an entire culture beyond the constraints of a heteronormative society.
How long have you been “out”?
I've always struggled with this concept. To my friends and some family, I am “out.” I am vocal and active in the queer community but there are people whom I do not tell I am gay because I feel like I don't owe anyone any explanation of my personal life.
What has your journey been like to becoming comfortable with who you are?
It's a journey that I am still on everyday. It is something that definitely comes with time and a strong support group. I seek to find these answers everyday but I am in a continuous state of metamorphosis.
How has your experience in your current location been as a LGBTQ+ identified person?
Chicago is super gay - I love it. Living here as a queer person is a sanctuary, as major cities often are. Sometimes, there is a Midwestern backlash to our community's vivaciousness but I definitely feel like I thrive here. Living in Chicago has also opened my eyes to problems in our own community with racial and economic disparities and prejudices within our community.
Have you ever faced discrimination because you’re a LGBTQ+ identified person?
Definitely, it happens. Whether it just stares or being called a faggot on the L, I feel like most of us have been in some situations. I have been more fortunate than others. I also was unable to donate blood as recent as five years ago due to my homosexual identity.
Where can people find you online?
You can't hehe - I'm around though.
Editor's note: if you or someone you know would like to participate, please fill out this form.
Photo by Morgan Durrah - used with permission.