I grew up in a small town just west of Indianapolis, Indiana that didn't tolerate differences. I was taught through abuse at school and scripture at church that I was irreparably broken, and that how I was born was inherently "bad" or "wrong."
In secret, I tried to pray away my sexuality and even went so far as conversion therapy with a trusted religious leader. When nothing worked in ridding me of my sexuality, I decided that maybe I could earn my way into Heaven if I committed myself to ministry. Turns out, you can't do that.
Throughout my deconstruction from evangelical Christianity, I retained the general themes of community care and loving others. Those two values resonated with me and have stayed true through my professional career in mental health as a crisis interventionist. Seeing humanity at their most vulnerable on a regular basis set the stage for what would eventually become the Empathy Paradigm.
In 2016, I officially came out and dedicated myself to authenticity and honesty. Deconstructing the beliefs and belief systems I was taught to not question has been hard work, but it's created the room necessary for growth and change.
I proudly believe in the undeniable innate value of humans, universal belonging and social responsibility, and I work to empower all individuals to explore and confidently express their identity and beliefs.