“Gay from Gaylord” explores growing up LGBTQ in northern Michigan

Apr 28, 2015

The lives of LGBTQ Americans are more visible than they’ve ever been before. In the past decade, the number of television shows and movies feature gay, lesbian, and transgender characters has exploded. Celebrities and public figures are more open about their sexual orientations.

Many say the increasing acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the public eye has made it easier for younger generations to come out to friends and family. But for kids growing up in smaller, more conservative towns, deciding to be honest about their sexual orientations can be a tough decision.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network says youth in rural and small town schools often face more bullying and have fewer resources available than their urban and suburban peers.

That’s the subject of a new documentary from students in the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences. “Gay from Gaylord” looks at what it’s like to grow up gay in small town Michigan through the story of Chris Ryan, now a junior at Michigan State.

Current State talks with Chris Ryan about his life growing up in Gaylord and his experience producing a documentary about his own life.