I grew up in Tennessee. I’m from a small town there, but I spent a lot of my formative years in Nashville after college. I was there when I found the courage to come out at 30.
I’d been exposed to New York City on my travels, but I’d never lived here before. I knew about Stonewall—I was a history major in college. I knew what it was, but I didn’t have a personal connection to it as I wasn’t out.
When I did come out, everything changed. Being a history nerd I really dug in. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to own that knowledge. I thought, ‘This is who I am. I need to be informed.’
Plus, I had in my life some men who were older than me—I have friends across a wide age-range—some of whom were avid history buffs as well. So I was fortunate to have a really good education on Stonewall, the community and our collective queer history. So I had a good opportunity to learn about it before I even got here.