At the beginning of 2018, my father "found out" I was gay. This began two weeks of mental abuse that led to me and my brother living full time with my Mom after telling her what was going on. Since this time, my father has been slowly cutting ties with me until I "live according to his standards." Essentially, this meant - and still means - that I have to be "straight" and date women while "admitting" that I chose to be gay so that I could get something out of it from my mother. With this, my father has refused to help in paying for any schooling because he believes I have to live in his home and follow his preferred life-style to be good enough to receive any financial assistance with school.
All of this has not made me give up though as I have worked extremely hard my Senior year to get as much assistance with schooling that I possibly can through scholarships and the like. I also began working the summer of 2018 and continued to throughout the school year so that I can begin saving money for college. Even with all of my efforts, I have fallen short of the money I would need to be able to go to the college I have been working extremely hard to get into. For Fairfield University, for one year, is around ~65,000 dollars. The reason I am only asking for 35,000 is because, through my focus on my studies through this year, I have been able to get Merit Scholarships for around ~30,000 dollars of that cost. I was able to be exempt from all of my Final Exams this year as well as getting an average of 95 for my final year in high school. I did not only work and study this year as I also was the Stage Manager for my high school's theater company for their fall and spring production. Being the Stage Manager required me to stay after school Monday through Friday till as late as 10 pm in preparation for the shows.
At this current time, I am unable to get a co-signer for my student loans and is the main reason I have decided to create a gofundme page to try and help raise money for my Freshman Year. Since my Mom has taken on full financial responsibility for myself and my brother (he left my dad's home at the same time I did) she can't co-sign for the loan and, as said earlier, my father refuses to offer any help. I hope to have the ability to take out the loans myself for my Sophomore Year of college as I am currently working to build up a credit score and will continue to work during the school year so that I can continue to save money to put towards college. The 35,000 dollars that I am asking for would go directly to paying my first year's tuition and all the expenses for board, books, etc.
I hope to take what has happened with my father and turn it into something positive. Earlier this month, I was a part of a student panel that talked about the importance of having an inclusive classroom for LGBT+ students. Through Fairfield, I hope to be able to expand upon my want/ability to help others who feel alone in the world. I want to be able to help other teenagers and students to feel safer being who they are so that they don't have to feel like the whole world is against them.
Again, I thank you immensely for taking the time out of your day to view this page. It is honestly okay if you're unable to donate to this as there are a plethora of things I could only imagine you having to pay in your lives. I ask that, if you can't donate, you spread my story so that others can help.
~ James M.
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