Meet Ryan James

I struggled for a long time with being gay. I’d be lying if I said it still wasn’t hard sometimes. Growing up in a small, hyper masculine, Southern Baptist town, it was difficult to wrap my head around homosexuality. I believed that you were either gay or you were a man. Societal norms were such a huge part of my idea about the world that I didn’t feel free to be myself. Being visible in the gay community is important to me because we need strong leaders. Leaders that balance their masculinity with their femininity; leaders that challenge what those words even mean. Leaders to show all of the confused, lost souls that you don’t have to sacrifice who you are to be who you are. We are following in the footsteps of all of the brave men and women who helped pave the way - because despite all of the challenges we still face as a community, we live in a time with more acceptance and love than they ever knew. They are true heroes. I hope to follow in their footsteps and be a hero too. I am PROUD of who I am. Every part of who I am. Gay. Man. Friend. Lover. Brother. Uncle. Son. Grandson. Colleague. Employee. Mentor. Hero. Happy Pride. Be YOU. Be a HERO. 🏳️‍🌈


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