Growing up gay in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, I got used to figuring things out on my own. Though I watched my peers follow all the same well-traveled paths as their friends and mentors, it didn’t occur to me that I deserved guidance as well. In hindsight, the impact of this lack became more clear to me. My immersion in heteronormative cultures meant growing up without many queer role models or friends. Without any frame of reference for my choices and goals, it’s unsurprising that I made so many pivotal decisions blindly.