I didn’t have a home and at that time I didn’t have a school and I didn’t have a future. Education was my only way out.
I didn’t have a home and at that time I didn’t have a school and I didn’t have a future. Education was my only way out. Because I was always the nerd in school, I found a lot of solace in education High school was I think overall a good experience, but the opinions of our community in Jacksonville, FL was not very welcoming of anyone other than straight, cisgender white people I started expanding my way of thinking through education and through reading. and that’s when I really started seeing a divide between me and my parents In high school, they found out about my sexuality and they went through my phone one night and found out that I’m gay and so they put me in conversion therapy. I think the worst part about conversion therapy is that I so desperately wanted it to work and and my years and years of trying to suppress my identity to please others and to please myself. I was a miserable person. I was dealing with very intense suicidal ideation and depression and no kid should have to feel like that because of their identity I was working three jobs in high school hopping from friends’ house. Like a month after I got kicked out, Georgetown called me and I was accepted into their school of foreign service and so I decided to attend and I was extremely excited, but when I got my financial aid package I quickly realized that I couldn’t afford college. There was about a $20,000 gap. between me and Georgetown So she started a GoFundMe with a goal of $20,000 and I was really blown away when it reached $2,000. As a queer kid in Jacksonville, I didn’t receive a lot of support for who I was but for someone to not only say, “I support you Seth and your journey to college.” but “I support you financially was a totally different thing and it really made me believe in myself. There were a lot of teachers that like
really made me believe in myself. started it by contributing $50
really made me believe in myself. started it by contributing $50 and that meant a lot to me that teachers, on their low salary, would take money out of their budget. We had the idea to start the scholarship foundation once the GoFundMe went viral and once we exceeded our goal of $20,000 and Ellen Degeneres picked up on the idea and she partnered with Cheerios to provide us with an additional $25,000 to go towards the foundation I’m not the only kid going through these struggles and there are so many other kids and you know it’s my responsibility to stand up and fight for them as well I would tell them to roll their shoulder back put their chin up, know that they are a fearless queen, and that they deserve to be loved. learning to live as my authentic self has been so liberating and I’ve never felt better. So I think it is important for me to share my story and open myself up for the criticism because I think it’s important for other kids to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that these situations are dark, but we will overcome