#RepresentYourStory is back! Our latest entry into the #RepresentYourStory series is Chance Calloway, the creator the web series Pretty Dudes. In case this is your first foray into the world of Pretty Dudes, here’s the jist. Four good-looking, yet shallow guys (Xavier Avila, Tae Song, Kyle Rezzarday, Yoshi Sudarso) try to help their other good-looking friend (Bryan Michael Nuñez) find a lifelong partner and hopefully break their “pretty boy curse”—being extremely handsome and attractive, but unlucky in love. The web series, which you can watch here, is funny and charming, and I’m happy to have Calloway provide us with some of his own experiences and how he overcame them. Hopefully, what he’s learned throughout his life when it comes to overcoming differences can help you in yours.
You can find Calloway on Twitter. Pretty Dudes releases a new episode each Tuesday, and you can also keep up with Pretty Dudes on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook. You can also support Pretty Dudes through a donation via PayPal.
If you want to participate in #RepresentYourStory and read past entries, click here to read more about the project and where to provide your answers!
Where does your story begin? What first caused you think you were different?
Watching The Cosby Show in a room full of cousins when I was six/seven, and the reaction I got when I said one of the guest actors, a male, was “cute.” My mom pulled me outside to tell me why I couldn’t say he was cute. He remained cute to me.
What external and/or internal factors reinforced your idea that you were different?
Being a gay man who the other Black boys at school called the f-word, and being a Black man who the other gay boys at school said they just weren’t into.
How did you internalize your supposed difference? Did you accept it or struggle?
Struggled for a long time. Suicidal and depressed for the majority of my life.
Have you come to terms with your supposed difference? If so, how did you come to self-acceptance? If not, what issues do you still find yourself wrestling with?
I have. I had friends who accepted me before I did. And that made it okay for me to be who I am.
What would you say to someone else struggling with the same or similar difference you have?
You are not malformed. You are not a mistake. You are a piece of work, soon to be a masterpiece.
What would you tell your former self? What insights have you gained now that you wished someone had told you back then?
We make too big of a deal about our differences. Life would be so boring if we were the same. Differences create a kaleidoscope of beauty. Embrace that.♦