Justin hails from Fairfax, Virginia, and before that, Texas. He served an LDS mission from 2006-2008 in Seoul, Korea. In 2011, he received his BA from BYU and began the program he's currently in--graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. One of his favorite experiences there was working as a peer support volunteer on campus both in and out of the gay community, offering a listening ear, support, and resources to those seeking it. He currently resides in Dublin, Ireland.|
He came out to his family on Christmas in 2004, when he was a freshman at BYU. It was his Christmas present to himself. Since then, his family (parents, 1 brother, 2 sisters, and in-laws) have learned a lot about what it means to be gay, and are now quite accepting. He continues to be pleasantly surprised (for the most part!) by their understanding. He came out to his friends over quite a long period of time, and most of them are completely accepting of him and his choice to pursue a long-term, gay relationship. He does have a few horror stories from being relatively out at BYU, though--and some cool (read: happy) ones, too.
Somewhat of a skeptic, Justin lost interest/faith in God and religion in high school. However, he turned Mormon again in 2006--a journey inspired in part by Stuart Matis's story. He's glad for the experiences he's had in the church since then, but sincerely hopes for change in the organization, looking forward to when the LGBTQ community is fully accepted.