New Yorker Mathew Shurka came out at the age of 16 to his initially supportive father, who promised to love his son no matter what, and to always stay by his son's side. However, his father's thinking became more and more influenced by homophobia and harmful stereotypes surrounding the gay community.
After learning that his religion was anti-LGBTQ, John Russell Stanger, now the first openly gay Presbyterian minister ordained in Texas, stayed in the closet even while earning his B.A. in religion. It was in seminary that John figured out that Jesus would in fact be very accepting and loving toward LGBTQ people.