The year of 2018 was quite the experience for me. Not only did I do so much that I never thought of being capable to do but, I’ve learned a million and one things about myself that’s helping to grow and become the person I intend to be each day. It’s never easy being a queer person of color but, it strengthens me to believe that doing the impossible is quite possible. Looking at my future, I’ve decided on what I wanted to do with my life and that’s being apart of the film industry. 2018 was my final year in high school and capstone projects were being put together. I had no idea on what I wanted make my capstone project about until I did. It had to be something that was truthful to me, but also something that could support and inspire a whole community, and that’s when I decided I wanted to create a film on the LGBTQ+ community and what it meant to me. My film was titled, “Beyond Truth”, a story about two boys figuring out their sexualities while dealing with the outlooks of their families but also their love for each other. My first coming out story wasn’t the best as it all was unexpected, but creating this film and premiering it front of a crowd of other people who could relate and be inspired by my story, gave me a chance to look at myself and not be ashamed of who I am. It was a good feeling to have and since the premier of this once in a lifetime film, I have embraced myself to the fullest of truth. It wasn’t something I was able to do alone though. It was a process and during this process, I needed support. My queer family gave me a place where I could be honest with myself. Attending my very first Rochester Black Pride Festival, was that place. I got to surround myself with a community who understood me and accepted me for who I was. They gave me an outlet when I needed one and forever I will always be grateful. It was also helpful to have my best of friends apart of this process. I didn’t feel so different when I was around them. Now that I was out, they didn’t make me feel like things had to change and it was a relief knowing that I still had them in my corner throughout it all. My family was my rock in all of this. Before anyone’s approval, theirs was the most important. They learned to embrace me and love me the exact same no matter what I was figuring out about myself. They didn’t judge me for being a queer man, they stood by me. They fought for me and still, they’re fighting for me and without them, my embarking on my truth would have been unendurable. In 2018, I created a film, embraced myself, applied to a bunch of film schools and gave myself a chance to have it all. Now being three months into 2019, I’m ready to grasp on to everything and more that the world has in store for me. I’ve learned from myself that if you have a light, let it shine because you never know when it’ll burn out.
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