Point Scholar 2007 – 2009
Andy was born and raised in Scott City, Kansas, a quiet, conservative town whose benefits were outweighed by the suppression and fear of queer sexuality. The looming presence of homophobia coupled with the lack of any positive LGBT influence kept Andy from revealing that he was gay. Despite his parents’ divorce, his mother’s suicide, and the burden of living in the closet with few outlets for his secret, Andy excelled in high school and graduated as valedictorian. Transferring from one conservative environment to another, Andy entered William Jewell College as a double major in English and Psychology. As a freshman, Andy wrote a popular humor column for the school newspaper, and in the last issue of the year, he came out to the entire campus as its only openly gay man. Since then, Andy has been an outspoken advocate for equality, and used his future roles of Student Senator, GLSEN intern, and leadership positions on his school’s GSA cabinet and newspaper staff to transform his community into a more accepting place for LGBT students. Someday, Andy would like to be a humorist, film critic, creative writing teacher and game show host, but for now, he is driven to attempt to be the gay role model for youth in rural communities that he never had.