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Most nights Joel would cry himself to sleep; he had an inner battle going on and didn’t feel any support at home in terms of just being loved for being who he is, as he is.As soon as Joel could, he got not one job, but several.His whole dance studio stood by as he opened his acceptance letter to OCU!
We don't all have to agree on everything, but our higher selves know that we should support those pursuing their dreams.
They told Joel he could either obey their rules (of not dating, not going to the center and not living openly as a gay man) or he could move out and live on his own. After only three years of dancing, Joel placed third runner-up for a national Dancer of the Year competition this summer, beating dancers who have had 10-15 years of training.
The judges and choreographers told my mother he was one of the most passionate dancers they had ever worked with.
Initially, his parents agreed to help with financial aid so that Joel could get student loans for college. Due to his family’s strict stance on homosexuality they will not sign or cosign anything to help him get to college.
Joel is only 17, he has to have his parents’ signature on loans and financial aid, even though upon graduation he is liable for it. Now that he is 30 days away from moving to Oklahoma City, they refuse to sign the final paperwork. They believe that by signing the paperwork they are somehow endorsing Joel being gay and encouraging a lifestyle they do not agree with. He has had an uphill battle pursuing what he felt was his inner dream of dancing since he was a child.
It was around age 13 that Joel began to understand that he was gay.