When most people think of queer people struggling, it’s in the context of family and social ostracization — but the concerning financial crises among LGBTQIA+ people are often left out of the conversation. Upper-middle class white women show up to Pride parades with “Free Mom Hugs” shirts with the understanding that coming out is often a traumatic experience for so many queer youth, but that’s where the support stops. …

When I was younger, I was something of a people-pleaser. Not the kind of person that allows random strangers to walk over them — no, I was definitely not a pushover to outsiders to my life — but someone who allowed those I considered myself closest with to take advantage of me, abuse my trust and my love, and take little pieces of me with them as they inevitably disappeared from my life.

Throughout my childhood and most of my life, I was left void of consistent and legitimate relationships — be they familial, platonic, or romantic connections. And I…

Just like that, I’m 22 years old. This last year has been the most challenging — and the most rewarding — of my life. From losing my election to finishing my undergrad to coming out to taking the leap and moving halfway across the country, it has truly been a rollercoaster.

I’ve never been a religious individual. Rather, I’ve found strength from within to tackle the obstacles I face, rebound from disappointment, and determine my path forward. I’ve never appreciated the concept of some mystical dude in the sky controlling my actions, glancing at all the predetermined courses of action…

When I made the decision to come out nearly a year ago, I had no idea of the self-discovery of identity that would ensue. From a conservative birth family to a number of friends between whom I maintained ten-foot walls, I had no one to prepare me for the journey I was embarking on. Society sears two portraits of coming out into the minds of queer kids everywhere: fear and self doubt at the prospect of baring one’s soul to the world, and anticipation for the Hollywood narrative of a flash mob and true love’s kiss and perfect acceptance. And…

I’m burned out. I’m not even 22 years old and I’m burned out — from my dead-end job to the concept of financial stability to the desire to just be.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I genuinely smiled at work if I tried. Hell, I hardly ever muster a genuine smile in my personal life or my social life or when walking into a coffee shop. I’m exhausted, y’all. But this full mind and body, soul-sucking exhaustion didn’t appear overnight; this has been building for quite a long time. I also can’t identify the tipping point. It could’ve…

At long last, the countdown of the final thirty days in the only state I’ve known began. As I packed my belongings in the precise number of boxes that would fit in the back of my car, I had to stop to figure out what I was feeling. There was an undeniable, pulsating exhilaration building in my chest — but also bittersweet, reminiscent memories and a level of intimidation at the prospect of a looming fresh start. A new name, a new job, a new city, a new life.

A large majority of those who know me know a relatively…

There have been times in my life during which people questioned the level of independence I exhibited, the small support system I maintained. Most of these individuals never intended harm in asking the question, but I began to notice a trend: For a society that speaks so highly of reflection and self-improvement, we stray from individuality and independence in practice. Words are an entirely different story, as we all speak of being unique, being independent. We place labels on ourselves and those around us in regard to personality types and whether we’re introverts or extroverts. I’ve always noticed a tone…

After the horrifying acts of white supremacy, terror, and racism perpetrated over the past few days, I found myself at a loss for words — I found myself numb. During my junior year of college, I took a nosedive into politics and activism by forming a chapter of March For Our Lives to facilitate a conversation about gun violence and the steps we must take to end it. I’ve continued gun violence prevention work ever since, but over time I found myself becoming more and more numb to the mass shootings, racist attacks, and rising gun deaths in this country…

A few days before I legally changed my name, I lay in bed with David Bowie playing softly in the background and the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was sitting there alternating between typing an article for Medium and working on the fourth draft of a fiction novel I’ve poured my soul into. The idea of a sleep schedule being entirely foreign to me after becoming so acclimated to home and work mixing together over the course of the past year, I typed and typed until my fingers became tired enough to take a break. I glanced…

Growing up, I didn’t see a large part of myself represented in the world — in pop culture, movies and TV shows, music, books, or anything else. I firmly believe that if I’d been exposed to more authentically portrayed queer identities, I would’ve accepted myself and come out much sooner. You see, white, cisgender, hetero people have a level of privilege that they don’t even acknowledge. Every movie and book and character they come across tells their story, portrays their identity, validates their experiences. …

Garrett Chase

Just a gay activist trying to change the world. | he/him |

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