Tell us about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are your interests? What are your pronouns?
Hi!!! I’m Ben, I’m 18 years old and I’m currently a college student at Manhattan School of Music studying musical theatre, while also running a small embroidery business! My pronouns are he/him/his!
About how old were you when you came out? How was the climate you grew up in?
I first came out in October of 2019 to my friend when I was 17, and then fully came out in May of 2020. The climate I grew up in was always accepting and never held me back from who I wanted to be, it was my personal struggles that I had to overcome before I came out.
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?)
My school is very accepting of everyone regardless of gender identity, sexuality, race, and is very inclusive, which makes me feel so much happier every day being apart of the community. And since I own and run my small business by myself, I would say it’s very accepting 🙂
If you could tell your younger self something about yourself that you are proud of today, what would it be?
If I could tell my younger self something about myself today, I would tell them how happy I am to be myself. Not to hide myself because I’m scared people won’t like me but to open myself to the world because people want to know the real me.
Have you tried to surround yourself with like-minded peers/colleagues? If so, how?
I definitely try to surround myself with like-minded colleagues and peers. Being inclusive and supporting others is so important to me, so when I see someone not sticking up for someone else, I immediately remove myself from the situation or confront them to help them make better choices next time.
Who were your role models growing up? What tv shows/movies allowed you to feel seen?
Although this isn’t from when I was younger, I would say a lot of people I look up to are Broadway actors and actresses who stand up for what they believe in and play pivotal roles in the theatre community. One memory I can recall is seeing The Prom on Broadway and feeling so touched after that story and thankful to the actors for telling it so truthfully.
Complete the sentence, if I knew ____________ back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self that _____________________?
If I knew how happy I am right now when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self to take my time, because the journey is what makes the destination so meaningful.
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