Scholar Class – 2010
Matt began telling people of his sexuality at the end of his junior year in high school. By the time he was a senior, word began to spread and his parents had heard rumors. He told them he was gay in August of 2009. They didn’t take the news as well as he had expected. They took him to speak to a preacher and tried breaking down his spirits by telling him that he would never accomplish anything as a gay American, and that they could never support him in anything he did as long as he was gay. The conflict soon resulted in violence after they heard rumors of him having an older boyfriend. Matt lived in foster care for the next several months in a completely new and strange environment. During this time, Matt felt worthless and as if nobody loved or accepted him due to his sexuality. He became very suicidal while living in foster care. Matt had people such as his sister, close friends, partner, and teachers to thank for helping him to keep pushing forward every day. He stayed focused on his academics to keep his mind off everything and prove to the people who doubted in him that he could and would reach his full potential and accomplish all of his goals. Matt was voted Senior class President, National Honor Society President, Varsity Football Captain, and Mr. Norphlet High School during this time and graduated Valedictorian of his senior class. Matt continues to strive to push forward in everything he does and prove wrong those who doubt him because of his sexuality. Matt is proud to take the experiences he has been through to learn the truths about love, family, and happiness for himself, but also seeks to take what he has been through to help and support others who are going through the same experiences and struggles that he went through -- teaching them to never give up or stop believing, no matter how many people doubt you. Matt also hopes to show everyone that being gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian is not a disadvantage and that they can accomplish just as much, if not more, as anyone else.