Throughout Nathan's childhood, he quietly bore the weight of immense shame over his gay orientation and the expectations of his faith that he felt he couldn't meet. Last year he survived a suicide attempt, and since then he has been going after his dreams with a hunger that comes from knowing his own value and the preciousness of life.
After experiencing a heart attack at only 23, Jess Lindow decided that life was too precious not to live authentically. She has found that living true to herself has helped her achieve many more of her goals, and shared with Encircle seven pieces of advice that have helped her the most throughout her journey.
Kathy Carlston is a filmmaker whose credits include The Avengers, and founder of Resilient Hope, a nonprofit that connects survivors of school violence incidents with resources to aid in the trauma recovery process. Carlston grew up in the Denver, Colorado area and was a freshman at Columbine High School when a tragic shooting occurred in April 1999. This event affected her deeply and instilled in her a motivation to do whatever she can to alleviate the pain of others.
Dr. Marilyn Mehr is a professor, psychologist, writer and social activist currently living in New York City. Dr. Mehr earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1972 and has spent her career in adolescent behavioral psychology and teaching. She and her spouse, fellow psychologist and professor Dr. Betty Walker, began dating in graduate school and have been together for over 40 years. She has seen a lot of changes in visibility and acceptance of the LGBT community over her lifetime.
Soon after Meg and Sara started dating, they had a rock climbing accident that left Sara unable to use her hands for a month and Meg unable to walk for a year, and made them come out to their families at the same time. They say that moment and the work they did to get through it together made their relationship so much stronger, to a point that might have taken them years longer to reach otherwise.
Dallas Graham is an artist, author, and founder of the Red Fred Project. He says the art he gets to create now wouldn’t be happening if he hadn’t been honest with himself and come out as gay. Dallas feels that going through the difficult process of coming out increases LGBTQ individuals' capacities to love others and abilities to solve the world's problems.