Kaela Wilton is a 16-year-old student at Onoway Jr./Sr. High School in Alberta, Canada. For an art project, approved by her art teacher and the school principal, she depicted two young men in an affectionate kiss. After its unveiling and subsequent complaints, the school covered the mural and would not allow it to be seen.
My own early years acclimating as a gay man carry some of the deepest wounds of my life. For a while, I sacrificed my education, carried shame about my sexuality, made horrible dating choices, and looked for my self-esteem in the nightclubs. Now I have a deep and visceral need to give Griffin the advice and friendship from an older gay man that I didn't have.
When one of my new straight-male friends asked if he could sit in on a QSA meeting, I immediately said yes and took him to a panel on LGBT dating, hoping to show him how cool the queer community is. The discussion was mostly civil, until my fledgling ally worked up the courage to ask one simple question.
As a young gay man in conservative southern Indiana, I had lots of reasons to argue that LGBTQ scholarships were indeed very necessary. I dreamed of going to college in NYC where I could express myself freely. However, with my mom's very low income the idea of affording college in NY seemed an impossible dream.