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My name is Mark and my ultimate goal in life is to continue to be me, to live freely and authentically. On this journey called life, I have come to learn that my sole purpose on this earth is not to simply take up space, but to create spaces that encourage others to be themselves, to empower them.

Some call me inspirational; others refer to me as a role model. However, I want to remind everyone that I am still a work in progress like everyone else. I make the choice every day to live authentically. If me being myself encourages others to be more open and transparent about whom they are, then I am proud of that but that’s an extra perk, the perk of being me is that I no longer have to suffer trying to be perfect, I’m learning to love my imperfect self.

Now at 24, I am on this mission to continue to live a life of a storyteller, whether I am writing a poem, choreographing a dance, or fabulously speaking to an audience at a university, the goal is to share my story with the hope that others will also dare to share their story. I often remind myself of the words of one of my sheros, Audre Lorde, who reminds me often that my silence will not protect me.

Trust me, it’s not always easy living in your truth but I rather endure the struggles that stem from living in the light of my truth than live a life in the shadows, pretending to be someone I am not.

I hope my story allows you to see yourself reflected in some way, I hope it serves as a means to let you know that you are not alone. Together, let’s continue to do the work that sets us free to be exactly who were meant to be.

Stay fabulous,

Mark