Do not underestimate the power of confidence.
Thanks to my parents, growing up I was very involved and devout to the LDS Church. I believed in the church and everything it taught religiously. Church was very important to my parents and going to it was such a chore. It was so boring and 3 hours was too much. Even though I hated it, I believed it. But it was always always clear that I was different. Instead of Hot Wheels and Nerf guns, I was Polly Pockets and Dress-up. My mom never let me know that she cared about what my interests were, but I got yelled at by my dad every day for playing with dolls or playing dress up.
One day I was playing dress-up with my sister, and we were having a lot of fun until she heard my dad coming home. She immediately yelled and tattled on me, even though she had been doing it with me. I was like, wtf girl we were just having so much fun and you gotta ruin it all by telling dad?! She was allowed to do it but I wasn’t. My dad talked to me about it and told me that dressing in girls clothes was wrong and I shouldn’t play with dolls. He would have to grind this into my brain for a long while before it eventually stuck. When I asked him why it was wrong, he said just because.
It was frustrating for me because I knew how I was supposed to be, and I really tried hard to fit the mold. I didn’t understand why what I enjoyed doing was bad, I just understood that it made people around me angry. So I had to play a part, and be a perfect son.
For a while I played the part well. Everyone around me was happy, but I wasn’t
As I grew older there was always a part of me that said “hey, you’re different”, and this thought gave me so much fear. I hated thinking it. I knew that people chose to be gay, so why did I feel so different from everybody else when I could just choose to be straight?
This dilemma had me shook. If the church is 100% true, and they say that gay people choose their lifestyle, and choose to have those feelings, why do I still get these feelings that I can’t control? Why am I the only one at school who doesn’t really get crushes? Why do I pretend that I want to date the girls at my school?
For a long bit I tried making my faith and my feelings compatible. It was like trying to get two puzzle pieces from different puzzles to fit together. I could be gay, have good mental health, or stay in the church. But I could not have all three.
Losing faith brought me salvation.
I came out at school first.
My first boyfriend was the love of my life, a 6’4 basketball player theater geek who was already in high school.
I was new to relationships and the whole thing lasted a lot longer than it should have lmao. When he broke up with me I was devastated. My Mom knew something was wrong and it didn’t take much for her to get it out of me. I told my Mom I was gay. She wasn’t surprised. Out of fear, I didn’t tell my father until much later. When I first came out I loved being a victim. I loved the attention I got and fed off of the conflict I got into when people told me to 'tone down the gay'. On the last day of school in 8th grade I came in drag just to see what people would say. I was so gay that my 8th grade history teacher told me maybe I should go back into the closet in order to avoid getting bullied.
There were a lot of people that had problems with it. Mormons talked about me behind my back, about how much I had strayed from the church. It sickens me how grown ass people can talk about their 14 year old nephew behind his back as if he’s not even family.
One day as a big ‘fuck you’ to all of my family members I posted a busted photo of me in drag. (trust and believe you do not want to see it) My Aunts and Uncles were shook. They didn’t know what to do. They used the scripture that I no longer believed in to try and get me to become the perfect mormon boy I once was. Little did they know that I was just as perfect as I used to be. Now I was a beautiful Glamazon of the Earth because Drag stuck with me.
It is so draining to let people get to you.
Don’t let people get to you.
The thing is, bullies are looking for a reaction. They feed off of the look on your face when they call you a faggot, or tell you to kill yourself. So if you can make yourself numb to all of it, or make yourself appear numb to all of it, nobody will care anymore, and they will stop trying. Confidence is key. If you can make a bully feel like their existence in your life is 100% irrelevant, they are powerless.
I wish someone had told me this when I was younger.
Through Drag I found this confidence. I could look gorgeous every so often, but also be my authentic real self most of the time. I started my YouTube Channel once I felt like I was getting good at it (BOY I WAS WRONG, again trust and believe you do not want to see).
When I started building an audience I realized that I was inspiring people to be their authentic selves. If I could come out here and let everyone know who I am, and do drag and be this confident, and still be 14, 15, 16 years old, what was to stop them? And that is the reaction I now feed off from.
I want people to realize that even though it doesn’t always get better, we do become stronger.
My extended family still may not fully understand me, but instead of focusing on the negative people in my life, I have created a new family with the friendships I have built. Even if your biological family isn’t there for you, being gay automatically gives you the advantage of a much larger family that is irreplaceable.
If growing up gay in Utah has taught me anything, it’s taught me
to be confident, and to give zero fucks.