Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

My background lends to my love for storytelling. I love stories because I can escape myself for a little while and immerse myself in a new world and a new perspective. I come from a wonderful family that taught me to listen to and respect others no matter what, but some values were instilled in me that have taken a lifetime to break out of. I was bullied relentlessly for being “gay” before I even knew what such a thing was. When I learned, my religious family ingrained in me her personal rejection of homosexuality. If a TV show portrayed two men kissing, I'd have to cover my eyes, or be told to leave the room. My conditioned impulse was to cringe at the sight, despite my early pubescence indicating I was attracted to both boys and girls.

It was an odyssey trying to find comfort in my selfhood. I was plagued with anxiety, clinging onto whatever passing moments provided some sort of comfort. In school, I felt like I was trapped in a cage with myself. I couldn’t look in the mirror without cringing, without feeling
this raw disgust at all the feelings I was repressing. I was desperate to play any role that wasn’t “Kevin Douglas.” It’s no surprise that acting became my vice. I loved being in someone else’s shoes. I loved playing boisterous roles, narcissists who were in love with themselves. I played Gaston my junior year of high school, and people who knew me were aghast – what is this self-loathing, soft-spoken kid doing up there, playing Disney’s most famous egotistical maniac? But I loved it. It was a confidence I could never have. It was an attitude I could never embrace.

When I banished the queer identity from myself, I latched onto Coming of Age stories, where wandering souls could grow into the person they were meant to be. When I started writing, I consistently and unconsciously wrote gay characters much of my likeness. I desired to create that middle ground not just for audiences and my characters, but for myself and my own bisexual identity. I have bridged the gap with a part of myself I was once taught to fiercely reject. And with the stories I write, I hope to bridge the gaps that others might carry as well.