People often feel pressured to fit in with society’s conventional ideas. Those who don’t fit into the mold are often subjected to ridicule, intimidation, and even physical abuse. Even though there is an increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people in society, many LGBTQ people still experience discrimination, harassment, and violence at work, school, and in social situations.
Early days of facing an extreme society
Born in a conservative town on the outskirts of New York, Josh Helfgott was a victim of such discrimination since his very childhood. What was more surprising is that he was treated horribly long before he came to terms with his orientation. He was often bullied, ragged, and made fun of in school and early college.
From innocence to experience
Because of the things people said and did, Josh’s childhood was unnecessarily complicated. One of the most satisfying parts of his life was the presence of his two mothers, who were lesbians. His bond with his mothers helped him cope with his own troubles and offered him a unique perspective. Though few psychological studies point towards having a lower sense of purpose among individuals who experience early adversity, for Josh it was the exact opposite. The hard times in his childhood and the beautiful bond with his parents inspired him to raise his voice as a leading LGBTQ influencer. His own trials and tribulations helped him gain greater clarity on his life’s direction. His love for his mothers also played an integral role in authoring his future.
Standing tall and strong with the LGBTQ community
After pursuing his education in LGBTQ Studies from Cornell University, Josh went ahead to advocate for others in the LGBTQ community facing societal bias and maltreatment. As an LGBTQ educator and influencer, Josh, now 30 years old, considers his followers and friends as part of his extended family. It is indeed a matter of pride for him to transition from a life of solitude to one surrounded with love and respect from people who consider him their role model.
For Josh, reaching where he is today was an uphill task. He realized the need for knowledge to brace himself for the fight ahead, not just for himself and his mothers but also for the community at large. After studying at Cornell, he pursued further education on LGBTQ culture and society in Buenos Aires in Argentina and Tel Aviv in Israel. At present, people look up to him for support and guidance due to his immense knowledge of LGBTQ rights, history, and current affairs.
Josh feels strongly about the need to love one’s uniqueness and embrace it wholeheartedly. It is just the first step in building a sense of self and an identity rooted in gratitude.