“I wanted to be that role model and teacher in a community that I knew that I needed when I was a kid. And so I knew that it was, I guess, kind of on my shoulders, a calling to make sure that I did that.” – Harry (he/him)
“Seeing a teacher who was out and being successful in life meant a lot to me, not just because of just the representation of that and seeing that this isn’t something that’s extremely rare in the South, that it’s something that can be normalized.” – Kolby (he/him)
After Harry started teaching theater in his hometown, he was told by an administrator not to be open about his LGBTQ identity – this went against his goal of moving back to South Carolina to be a role model for kids like him. By being a visible married gay man in the South, he was able to be a safe place to turn for Kolby during his journey of self-acceptance.