John Wisienski

Tell us about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are your interests? What are your pronouns?

He/him, I plan educational events for pharmaceutical companies. I have a BA in theater performance and a minor in dance. I love theater and making content on TikTok.

About how old were you when you came out? How was the climate you grew up in?

I was 20. I grew up in a rural-ish suburb in NJ. It was rough growing up gay. I knew I wanted to kiss boys when I was 7, and I knew it was something I was supposed to keep to myself.  As I got older, I liked girly things like gymnastics and theater, and I was pretty effeminate. Classmates would make comments and/or make fun of me, so I started to mask my true self.

Did you make career choices that allowed you to feel comfortable being open about your sexuality? (Are you out or feel comfortable being out at your workplace?)

I am out! I don’t ever want to work in an industry where I have to hide parts of myself. I did that for 20 years, and I don’t have the energy to do that anymore.

If you could tell your younger self something about yourself that you are proud of today, what would it be?

You WILL be able to live openly as yourself and you don’t have to lie to yourself or others.

Have you tried to surround yourself with like-minded peers/colleagues? If so, how? 

Yes! Anyone who gives me even the slightest vibe that they are even latently homophobic gets put on my probation list. Hahaha. I’ve been very lucky to always have people on my side wherever I am.

Who were your role models growing up? What tv shows/movies allowed you to feel seen?

I didn’t have any specific role models, but, as corny as it is, I always related to the Disney princesses because there was a level of having to hold back and persevere to live their truth. Ya know?

Complete the sentence: If I knew my future self back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell myself to be nicer to myself and to others. (It was stressful, and I thought masking my stress with punch-down humor was ~quirky~. Thankfully I grew out of that pretty quickly.)

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