In celebration of Pride Month, we're sharing the LGBTQ2+ stories of our very own Bathorium family!
Hear Griffin's story
The first time I came out as bisexual was in my senior year of high school. I say first, because you never really stop coming out. You do it everyday, and in some way to everyone you meet.
I’ve been in a heterosexual relationship for my entire adult life, and while I am absolutely head over heels in love with my life and my fiancé, I often find myself experiencing imposter syndrome within the LGBTQ2+ community.
I am constantly coming out to people in my life as bi, reminding them and myself that despite marrying a man I am no less bisexual. Invalidation of bisexual individuals within the community is far too common.
My hope for pride month is to show people that bisexuality is not a phase, and you are valid no matter who you love.
Hear Mathieu's story
I grew up in a family that promoted education and ambition almost entirely over anything else that I can remember. I was taught that to be successful and happy in life, it was necessary to attain a “big guy” job, worthy of a real man.
As a queer kid, I wasn’t always certain I could live up to that ideal. I always struggled in school academically and had ideas beyond going to college. It felt as though I was keeping not only one, but two secrets from my family.
Regardless of the love and affection my family and I shared, telling them I was gay was something I never imagined I’d have the courage to do. I was afraid of the shame and disappointment that might cause and I didn’t want to let anyone down. My secret began to weigh heavily on my shoulders until I realized it was impacting my personal happiness and preventing me from becoming the Mathieu that I knew I wanted to become.
I finally broke down and told my family my true identity, that I was gay – and I remember it felt so good! The feedback I received was surprisingly positive and makes me question why I was ever afraid of telling them.
Looking back now, I realize I am one of the lucky ones. While we all may share similar feelings of fear and uncertainty, I know not everyone’s “coming out” story is as easy as mine was or met with such love and support. Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless stories of judgement and abandonment that are both tragic and heartbreaking. That has been a driving factor for me to try and create a safe and welcoming place for the employees at Bathorium.
We strive to encourage individuality and living ones’ truth. I am so grateful for the opportunity that this small business has afforded me in supporting LGBTQ+ initiatives and especially treasure the chance to improve the “coming out” stories of LGBTQ+ youth.
Life is a journey that is not always easy, but I am confident that with the support of each other we can overcome hardships and grow together. I am proud to be an openly gay entrepreneur and I hope I may serve as an example that dreams really can come true. Bisous!
Hear Greg's story
I want to create change and be a support leader in LGBT youth today.
Growing up as a questioning queer kid I didn’t have any gay mentors or role models that I could talk to or express how I was feeling.
Back in the formative high school years, there weren’t any accessible gay men in my life that I could look to for support or guidance. I always found myself not relating to the LGBT stereotypes I’d see portrayed on TV. I dreamed of having a loving husband, a family and being fearless in my everyday life. With the rise of teen suicide rates, especially in the LBGT community, I believe we need to open conversations up to kids who need to be heard.
Creating is a vehicle for self-expression and as a teenager, I used creating businesses to get the attention and accreditation I needed from those closest around me. While my brothers and straight friends excelled in sports and academia, I knew I could also get the validation I needed by being bolder, louder and consistently outdoing myself in every venture I set out to create.
For all the little dreamers that are coming after me, I want to be there to help amplify their success and be the person for them that no one was for me.