Unfortunately, the stigma of one’s sexual orientation is still present in the days we are living in. Whether the judgments come from friends, family or strangers, those judgments regarding one’s sexuality have a huge impact on the person’s life. Because of their sexual orientation the society makes people feel limited on what they can and cannot achieve.
It is often the case that parents shut out their kids if their sons are into boys, or their daughters are into girls.
This is exactly what happened to Seth Owen. His parents who are Southern Baptists excluded the 18-year-old because of his sexuality.
According to NBC News reports, the 18-year-old Seth Owen who identifies as gay graduated from First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida with the GPA of 4.16.
His plans consisted of him attending Georgetown University in the fall, but the 18-year-old who described himself as ‘nerd’, was unable to achieve his dream because he couldn’t afford the tuition since his parents refused to offer financial aid.
Nevertheless, he did have the support of a person, and that was his biology teacher and mentor. He created a GoFundMe page in order to raise the $20.000 he needed to enroll. It looks like people didn’t hold back on helping Seth to make his dream come true since the campaign has raised over $81.000 and counting.
Seth’s parents gave him an ultimatum according to Martin’s GoFunDMe description. He would either continue to attend the church that attacked him and his sexual orientation or he would need to leave home. The decision that Owen took was to leave.
Sophomore year of high school was the time when Owen’s trouble with his parents started. That is the period of time that they discovered he was gay and it wasn’t long until they started to make him endure so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ A practice that the American Medical Association has found to have ‘a lack scientific credibility.’
The 18-year-old told NBC news that:
“The worst part was I was packing my bags, and I was walking out the door, and I was hoping that my mom would stand in my way.”
“I was hoping that she would say, ‘I love my child more than I love my religion.’”
Unfortunately, that was not the case for Owen so he had to leave his house and live on friends’ couches when he received his financial aid package from Georgetown.
On the campaign, Martin wrote that the University created the package based on the assumption that his parents would foot the rest of the bill. This is why, Owen tried to appeal it while sending letters from mental health professionals, community organizations and school employees. Nevertheless, the University wouldn’t make the slightest movement.
Just when Owen thought that things couldn’t get any worse, Martin stepped in.
She told NBC:
“After we had hit $2,000, Seth was just like, ‘I’m so surprised that people, like, actually care about me.”
Owen and Martin admitted that in case that Georgetown does amend the financial aid package, they will use the funds from the campaign to set up a scholarship for other teens in Owen’s situation.
This is the video where Seth thanks everyone for surrounding him with support and love:
Let me end this article with what Seth said in the video:
“And it’s encouragement like this that sustains me and reminds me in difficult times that goals are attainable.”