Hey y'all!! Happy Friday!! How has your week been? We've been at the beach the past two days celebrating PJ's birthday as our boy turned 32 yesterday. We're down in Aly's Beach with our friend Shaun Smith who was kind enough to let us stay with him. We're having a blast and can't wait to tell y'all about it!
This week's FF is a bit different than what we normally post, but has such a great story to tell. His bravery and courage (in more ways than one) is inspiring and we think you'll enjoy learning a little more about his story. Take a look below to see what we mean...
Where are you from? The U.K.
Where do you live? Georgia
What's your Instagram handle? nate_smithws
Relationship Status: Single
What is your favorite place you have ever travelled to and why? My favorite place that I have ever gone to is the United Kingdom because that is where I was born and I always like going back and getting to see all of my family.
Who is your favorite artist at the moment? Favorite song? My favorite song at the moment is No Roots by Alice Merton, although my favorite artist at the moment is Old Dominion.
What is your proudest accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment so far in life would have to be when I got accepted for a full ride scholarship to Emory University as a freshman in high school.
Describe your home decor style: My home is still what my parents want it to be since I am in still in high school and live with them. I live in a 4 story house in the city, with a very modern design and almost all glass exterior. The inside decor consists of mainly crisp and rectangular shaped furniture, with some round objects placed throughout the house.
What is something you wish you would've known when you were younger? I wish that when I was younger that it was ok and should not be frowned upon to be gay, I grew up believing that it was a sin and that I must pray to become a child of god, as time went on I realized that I was who I was and wanted to remain who I was. Basically I just wish I had known there is nothing wrong with being gay and that it is ok to reach out for help when you are in a dark place.
How old were you when you came out? What was your experience like? So I actually just came out this about a month ago this year, and I had of course told a couple of my closest friends before this and was pretty sure that my parents knew, but it wasn’t until I started following PJ and Thomas and saw how happy they were, that I decided to come out to everyone. I of course had immediate acceptance from my closest friends and best friend actually cried because she was so happy for me. They were also of course some people who weren’t so accepting and I lost about 25 followers which does not seem like a lot but it really showed me how there are people in this world who may I may not be able to be friends with but it doesn’t mean that I can’t still be nice to them because everyone has a right to their own opinion. My family is a different story though, my sister thinks it is amazing, my mom has accepted it but doesn’t like it, and sad to say my dad does not really talk to me since he found out, although the benefits outweigh the downsides by a long shot. For the first time in my life I truly feel like I can be ME and not worry about what everyone else will think about me and I have never been happier.
You came out while in the military. What was that like? So many people get confused or don’t believe me when I tell them I am currently serving in the US Army National Guard as a Private First Class (PFC). As it is well known when living in the states you must be 18 to serve in the military although an exception was made for me so that I could serve due to my abilities. I was born with an eidetic memory meaning that I only have to see or read something once and remember it forever, this also allowed me to learn 4 languages and excel in much of what I do. About a month ago I decided to go ahead and come out which meant that my Platoon and Company would be soon to find out, which was always a big discourager, but I knew that I couldn’t wait forever. Most of the soldiers were accepting and said that they would see me as no different, just as much of a soldier, and were not going to stop trusting me with their life over who I am attracted to. Some were less accepting and no longer wanted to have me within their company but my company commander simply removed them instead. They weren’t real happy about that. Have to admit that even the accepting were a little uncomfortable showering together with me after that bc we all shower in a group shower together when in the army, but they quickly learned that I was not going to just sit there and stare at them shower, just as I hadn’t before.
What did you learn about yourself in the coming out process? I honestly learned a LOT throughout the coming out process. I learned that I could actually be a very outgoing person when I didn’t think that I could ever be a truly outgoing person. I learned that I didn’t need to be shameful of my body and that if I simply embraced it that life was so much better. Most of all I learned that I was fine the way I am and that if I just allowed people to talk to me that maybe I can find someone to love someday, which I wasn't sure was gonna happen.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why? So I kinda answered this above and I know that it may not seem like something so simple or someone like Thomas and PJ who I don’t even know could make such an influence, but they really can. I started following PJ and Thomas about a month before I came out and the fact that I could see that they were so happy and that while not everyone was accepting of them that they still lived an amazing life with many friends, and were happy doing what they were doing, really just made me smile. As time went by I started considering the fact that this may be true for me too, and so I started talking to my best friend about the idea of coming out and she jumped at the opportunity to convince me. I spent like an hour with Rita (my best friend) looking at PJ and Thomas’s page and seeing how happy they were, and eventually decided that if there were people who were unwilling to accept me than that was there problem, that they simply weren’t my true friends, and that I should not revolve my life around what everyone else thinks.