Growing up, sexuality and gender wasn’t something I thought about. In fact, I made sure I never thought about it. My Catholic upbringing meant I was deathly afraid of sin, and I thought being anything but cis and straight was a one-way ticket to hell. I was determined to be as “holy” as I could be, and being queer wasn’t a part of that plan.
When my faith faded away at the end of high school, I realized I was free to explore my identity in a way I hadn’t before. I didn’t have to police my own thoughts. Looking back, I’m almost surprised at how headfirst I dove into the queer community. Within a matter of weeks, through self-reflection and experimentation, I discovered I was queer and nonbinary.
Since then, I’ve come out to my family and started hormone replacement therapy. I’m finally presenting in a way that feels comfortable, and it’s been a true joy to watch myself become the person I was always meant to be. Receiving this grant means I get to complete my transition, which I couldn’t be more ecstatic about!
I’m eternally grateful to the Jim Collins Foundation for giving me the opportunity to finally be 100 percent who I am. I can’t express how much their assistance means to me and how much it will improve my mental health. To the Jim Collins Foundation: Thank you, thank you, thank you.Darcy Mack