College mentor and scholarship founder shares his story of homophobic bias

College mentor and scholarship founder shares his story of homophobic bias


End of my senior year,
I had just gotten into Berkeley, I was declared one of
the valedictorians of my class. And it was a moment where
everything was going good. But when it came to local scholarships,
when they asked me to share my story, specifically the challenges I faced. I didn’t get any because of the homophobic
bias that a lot of these interviewers had. And in this particular instance,
there were three women in an interview. And they asked that question, what was
the biggest challenge you’ve faced? And I talked about being gay, I talked
about having to face an exorcism from the Catholic Church when
I was 13 years old. I talked about how the own school
administration tried to censor my senior quote. For saying, yes, I dress nice, I wasn’t
in the closet this long for nothing. And it had to go to the point where I
had to talk to the superintendent and get the ACLU behind in order to
get that quote on the yearbook. And after sharing all this with the
interviewers, one of them looked at me and stated. Well, the real issue is you being gay, not what happened to you,
I was just crushed. And like I said, this was just a moment
where I had all these successes. I had the privilege of going
to Berkeley behind me and not even that was enough
to get the scholarship. And I will never remember when they
called up that name for a scholarship, it was a straight male. [LAUGH] That had a scholarship to
go to a school for playing a sport. And it was really hard for
me, because like I said, it was just all my hard work,
it didn’t get me that scholarship. So that’s an incident I
would never forget, and it took me a really long time to get
the courage to share that story. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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