“Out and Proud: My Journey”
Updated: Feb 23, 2021
First I would like to say happy pride month to everyone! Wether you celebrate this holiday for yourself, for someone close to you or just because you love to support equality and individuality I thank you! You are the light in the future for a better tomorrow. But please understand why we celebrate pride month. It’s not only a time for us to wear our rainbows or “flaunt our gayness”. It’s a time where we remember the people who fought for us to have equality and People who loss their lives trying to protect our freedom. It was not too long ago when stonewall happened. And since then the countless people who protested for the very rights we have today!
I remember at a very young age when I knew I was gay! I tried to fight it because everyone around me said it was wrong or made jokes about it. I already was fighting a battle of being a child with with no father, drugs an alcohol problems running deep in my family, living poor and hopping home to home, trying to maintain a sense of childhood while juggling school (in the inner city public schools of Philadelphia) and being “The Man” of the house at 5. I would always hear things from older males in my family or friends of about having to protect my mother and sister and not to be a “sissy boy” or a “fag” especially in a rough and tough city like Philadelphia. And the fact that I loved singing and dancing didn’t help at all nor did the fact that I loved Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake. There were years of bullying in grade school. Being chased home or having to fight, just protect the fact that I was gay but and not showing that I was less than a man.
I can remember at the age of 5 I knew I liked the same sex. Wether it was other kids my age I was crushing on or celebrities that caught my attention. I knew that it was gonna be a struggle. I fought what I called my demons for years. I’d lock my self in my room and hate on my self to want to change because life would be easier. I would get angry and hurt my self to toughen up so I wouldn’t be such a “bitch” or “faggot”. I attended church regularly to make my sacraments and would have to read and hear parts of the Bible that told me about the sins of two men or women sleeping together and that I would go to hell. I remember how upset I was with god for making me this way so much that I would threaten god to take my life cause I didn’t think I was strong enough to take much more then what I already had on my shoulders. One day in particular I remember, I was 15 while I was crying and begging for him to take away my gayness that something told me to ask him if I was put here for a purpose and if him making me gay was maybe his intentions to help fight for equality and I never felt more of a warm embrace then I did that moment.
I came out to my little sister Chuchii Loved first, she told me that she didn’t care if I was gay, I was her older brother and her protector and that she would keep my secret. I later met a friend through my first girlfriend Tori. That friend was Johnny Wallace (JohnnyBoyxo) who told my girlfriend I was gay. Johnny helped me understand who I was as a person and to be unapologetic. She made me understand that I could continue to play a victim or I could stand up and be the best version of my self that I could! And there was Ellen Degenerous who when i was younger was black listed for coming out yet here she was in 2004 making a come back being loved by millions. Teaching us to be ourselves, to be kind and to love one another. And the cast from “Will and Grace” who made me understand and learn so much about my community and feel understood. Then there was my brother Jeffrey John Frazer, who I had just a few years before that reached out to because we shared the same father but haven’t seen since I was 2, called him the day of my mother’s bridal shower and came out to him. Hidden in the bathroom stall at the venue he told me that didn’t matter and that he was proud of me and in the same call told me that we shared more then just a a love for musicians but that he was gay as well. In that moment I made up my mind! I started high school out to some very close friends who were more than supportive like Samantha Lynn, Brooke Bickelman, Ashley Marie and Kathy Dolan to name a few and by the end of freshman year I was out and proud to everyone out side of my family. When I was 17, in an argument with my mom I asked her if me being gay would make her disown me and she stopped and said “no why are you?” She continued to tell me that she would love me no matter what but that she would be scared for me cause the world wasn’t so accepting. At that time I took the rest of that day to call everyone in my family! Every person I called had no problem with it and most people took the opportunity to tell me they already knew. My poppy Rick was really the only one who had a problem with it at first but after a few months of not talking and reflecting he told me that I was his grand son and that came first and so did his love. But it was one person in particular that I called that shocked me the most. My great grandfather Pop Pop Art was visiting my Nana and aunt Jess when I, on speaker phone, came out. He started to choke up and tell me that I was still his grandson and he loved me no matter what and nothing could ever change that. I thought, here is a man who grew up in a very different time when people were segregated by race, women didn’t speak out of term, gays and lesbians were abominations and immigrants like him self from other countries were bullied to speak English cause this was America. At that moment I knew that I could be myself and be out and proud of who I am not only did I have people in my corner. A few years later with my sister and a few family members coming out to me
I had understood that I needed to help the world become a better place to live for all.
Fast forward to today, I never expected our community to feel more love and acceptance then ever before. I never expected the rights that we have today. It was the people in our community and the friends and family that helped us fight for that change. More and more people continue to join the fight for equality and acceptance and I am so thankful and grateful to be apart of such life changing events in history! Thank you all