Personal Narrative: My Identity As A Gay Adolescent

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My identity as a gay man directly impacted my GPA of my undergraduate degree due to the impact it has had in my overall life. My experiences with homophobia from outside the gay community, and pressures from within it, impacted my ability to focus on school during my undergrad. The moment when my GPA drops, as well as its climb upwards since initially attaining my degree, is directly connected to the issues going on in my life at the time because of my sexuality.
As a young gay man, particularly in the early 2000s, there were no examples or roadmaps to how healthy relationships look. Heterosexuality was, even more so than today, the assumed path and only examples in the media. The few examples that did exist in media were either stereotypes
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As school started, I struggled to find a balance between focusing on school while making enough money to afford rent, food, hydro, etc. I attempted to access a student loan from the government to help pay for school and provide some cost of living. However, because I was under 21 years of age, the loan officer insisted on factoring my mother’s finances into their consideration. It did not matter to them that I would not have her support. My loan application was rejected. I turned to the bank for a loan instead, and was successful, however it was a smaller amount that only covered tuition. I was on my own to ensure I had cost of living money. As my second year of school began, the school work became secondary to my minimum wage job as, with no safety net from my family, I could not afford to fall short on my bill.
Isolated, and struggling emotionally, it did not take long for school to become my third priority as I turned to casual sex and partying to cope. I fell into a group of gay men that lived to go to the bar. I learned to flirt for free drinks and go home with anyone that would pay me any attention. Knowing that school would help in the long term, I continued to take courses, however my attendance was low and my ability to focus on it even
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