the last chapter.

It’s been three years since I first started college and in three days I begin my last chapter in my collegiate career. When you’re packing and find the note your sister wrote you 3 years ago you, it can bring up a lot.

It can bring up a lot of emotion, especially when, at one point you had lost faith in yourself. It wasn’t easy growing up, having been tormented on the basis of my sexuality, or at the time, my perceived sexuality, like many other LGBT people. In life we will inevitably face challenges that we think are too big to overcome. At the time, I felt that way just going to school.

The ‘It Get’s Better’ campaign started in the fall of 2010, just three days after I came out in a response to a wave of LGBT youth taking their own lives.

It really shook me and my family.

I was almost one of those youth.

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t think about that time in my life… I came out against all odds and I am so glad I did.

My sister wrote in 2013…

I hope that everything has worked out the way you wanted it to & above all I hope you never forget where you came from and are able to embrace all the challenges you’ve overcome.
Be thankful for all the opportunities you’ve been given.

The work I’ve done to end the gay blood ban over the last couple years has been nothing less than an absolute honor. The headlines I’ve gained in the past few months are an absolute privilege.

This is something I am driven to do beyond measure. I do it for the recipients of the nation’s blood supply, gay men around the world and for myself.

Until now I haven’t been able to articulate that I feel guilty. Having been through, survived and thrived after the fall of 2010 when so many of my brothers and sisters didn’t, there is an immense pressure to do what you can to make the world just a little bit better.

For me, that means removing the notion imposed by blood donor policy that gay = HIV and that gay men are inherently a “high risk” no matter their actual activity.

Not everyone will change the world & that’s okay. Before you try — you need to do something, save yourself. If that’s all you can do, that’s okay. Know that while the world may not get much easier, you’ll get better, a whole lot better.