10Q Identity

10 Q’s, Identity within the LGBTQ+ Community: Henry Philyaw

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1. What does “Pride” Mean to you?

Pride is the freedom and understanding of your own experience as an LGBTQ person and having perspective and compassion for those who are also in our umbrella even if they don’t represent you or your experience.

2. Describe your relationship with the LGBTQ+ community, how close are you to it?

It’s a lot of love with a sprinkle of haters. I have a few young gay/queer/bi men I have mentored over the years, and I have a transgender niece and a lesbian niece who I support as much as I can in their experience. I have had a platform around sexual positivity that supported or community that I am going back to later this spring. I adore our community but being that I have faced ostracization because I am in a sexually nonmonogamous relationship,  the community hasn’t been that kind to me in that regard.

3. What’s do you appreciate about being LGBTQ?

Appreciate that our expression is limitless. We can be who want to be and mold our greatness in the most awesome way. I love it.

4. What’s the number 1 misconception that grinds your ears about the LGBTQ community? 

That we all have AIDS, that we are sexual deviants, that bisexual people aren’t real, that women lesbians because they hate men, and that transwomen “trick” men.

5. I quite don’t understand this about our community, but I want to know more?

I don’t understand why we are so beholden to Judeo-Christian standards in regards to how we date, engage sexually, and how we manifest interpersonal relationships.

6. Describe your coming out process in 3 words or less? 

Thank You Mom.

7. Who was the first out person you met, how did they impact your life? 

This guy named Juan when I worked at McDonald’s when I was 16 in 1996. It was the first time I saw someone experience HIV stigma even though no one had proof of his status. He was just openly gay and fem. People were so mean to him. He was kind. I learned that we need more kindness in the world.

8.Any advice for those struggling with coming out? 

It’s a process that you do in your own time. Do what makes you comfortable. Set up for your success and find someone you can trust. Being openly gay is a gift, not a prize. Be the best version of yourself but always love your community as they are and get into that unconditional self-love.

9 I feel most confident about “……….”

My emotional intelligence.

10 What would you tell your younger gay self?

The sooner you love yourself as you are, the sooner you will stop negotiating with people. The happier you will be. You are so great as you are and that heart you have will be broken and tried but respect the process. It will always work in your favor.

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