I am gay and I am a MD/PhD student.//
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but it was only after doing research in undergrad that I decided to pursue an MD/PhD. Now that I am here (in the graduate school phase…), I feel like I can finally reflect on the path that brought me to this point.
Being gay, and coming out, in a small town in South Carolina was hard. I moved to Charleston and attended the College of Charleston to escape the small minds, an action that angered my parents and led them to pull their financial support. Nevertheless, I worked to support myself during undergrad so that I could fulfill my dream. I made friends and found supportive faculty mentors at both CofC and the Medical University of South Carolina, where I am currently studying.
Often times, though, I still feel like I “stick out” in science. I dress differently, dye my hair exotic colors, and have a sense of humor deeply rooted in gay culture. Despite the challenges along the way, and the odd stares I may still get today, I am proud to wear my sexuality on my sleeve. I hope it encourages others in science to do the same, and maybe even makes it a little easier to do so.