What has being kicked out meant for you?
Being kicked out, meant I had to be strong. I had to keep on. I don’t think I ever realized just how much it effected my life. It was just something that was. I approached it (being kicked out) as something that happened, and now I had to turn the corner. It was a series of what’s next, now what do I do to survive? I built a network of people who could help me and I moved forward.
What role has art & writing played in your life, and how do you see that as part of community building?
What has being part of the Kicked Out anthology meant to you?
Being a part of the Kicked Out anthology meant a chance to deal with the emotions that I had been suppressing for my entire adult life. Although my story is different than most, as my family and I have reconciled, we’ve never really talked about “that time”. I realized I was extremely hurt and angry and holding onto that pain. Through each editing process, I grieved, I cried and proceeded to cry some more. I didn’t want to tell my parents I was participating in this book, but then I realized it was “our” story. It was our truth. The more I shared with other people, the more they shared their stories. It was a very healing process, and it amazed me the number of people who share our commonality.
What are three things people don’t realize about being kicked out?
I think that being kicked out of your home affects your overall self-esteem. I think you spend your life searching for stability, safety and comfort because it was taken away from you when you needed it most. Being kicked out can help you become a stronger more caring person or it can turn you into a victim. It’s interesting to see what road we all take.
What is one message about homeless LGBTQ youth you hope people take away from reading Kicked Out?
There are far too many LGBTQ people who share this story. Life is hard enough, and families should love each other unconditionally. We’re all we’ve got.