This Inspirational Out and Proud Message brought to you by, Kresta MacKinnon
Gender Identity and Pronouns
When did you know?
I think consciously I was about 28. The “signs” were probably always there, but where I’m from, even where I went to college, it just wasn’t an option. It was taboo, and that’s even how I looked at gay people.
When did you come out?
I came out the same year “I knew”
To whom did you come out first?
I told my brother and his girlfriend on our way to my parents house to tell them.
How did your closest friends and family react?
Anyone that I care about and knows me, said they already knew. My parents have always told me they’d support anything that makes me happy. I do have some family that are not accepting, but they have problems with all kinds of people, and just not nice 😀
How has your life been enriched by the LGBTQ Community?
I’m not really sure it has. The things that make my life better didn’t come from an “LGBTQ community”. I don’t even consider myself part of a community other than the town I live in
What are the common misconceptions about being LGBTQ?
We can always tell if someone else is like there’s a secret handshake or something. That someone is still the guy and girl in the relationship
Describe the first time someone else read you (for better or worse) as LGBTQ.
I’m sure people assume I’m gay all the time, but I’ve never really had anyone ask me about it or say anything to me.
Who was your first LGBTQ role model or elder, and how did they impact you?
I have elders who happen to be LGBTQ, but they don’t impact my life because of how they identify, and my role models are my parents who are not gay.
What is the biggest external issue or challenge facing the LGBTQ community today?
Equal rights. Fear of discrimination
The biggest internal issue or challenge?
To be honest, I think that by making so many identifying labels. I had a straight person ask me if I considered myself gay. I said yes. They were confused because a gay man had gotten mad at them because only men are gay, women are lesbians. Many colleges organizations have so many letters I couldn’t even tell you what they mean. Now, people who believe strongly in labels will say I’m discriminating because I don’t recognize them.
Are there any LGBTQ nonprofits whose work you especially admire?
PFLAG. I think that for many who don’t have a good support system that organization is helpful.
Who is your personal Queer Hero?
I don’t have one
Do you have any advice for young queer folks who may still be defining their identity, coming out, or learning how to be their authentic selves in the world?
There is always someplace for people to find support or common interests. If it’s not in person, it can be online. It’s too hard to either lead two lives or just not be OK with one’s self. I know I was very lucky, but I’m so happy I can just be me. The saying “it’ll get better is true”. The resources are plentiful to help along the way.
How are you involved in or how do you give back to the LGBTQ community?
I’m not. I tried to volunteer at the local center when we had one, but I didn’t agree with everything they did, and it closed not long after.