Ashley Vaughn(He/Him) is a volunteer for Lambert House.
When you came out the first time, what made you feel safe to do so?
I don’t think I actually felt safe at the time. I was just so tired of not being my true self and I felt I had to do something to try and improve my wellbeing.
How do you ally yourself with others who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community?
I have friends who are LGBTQ+ and I volunteer at Lambert House in an effort to be an ally to younger people in the community.
How do you educate people about the LGBTQ+ community?
In situations where I meet people I don’t know well, I mention my husband as a way of introducing the fact I am LGBTQ+ and see where the conversation goes.
What resources would you recommend for LGBTQ+ youth who have questions?
Lambert House has numerous resources for youth.
What did you think your life was going to be like after high school?
I assumed I would go to college. I don’t think I thought about an ideal situation where I would be with a same-sex partner and happy. I certainly didn’t entertain the idea of marriage.
What tips would you have for people questioning their gender identity?
To seek out as many understanding people as possible to talk about your feelings.
What tips would you have for people questioning their sexual orientation?
Assume that you are absolutely normal and seek advice from well-meaning adults.
How do you stay resilient in the face of negativity and stereotyping?
I live in Seattle and at this point in my life I have not had to deal a lot with negativity and stereotyping.
What are your hopes for the future of the LGBTQ+ community?
I would hope that in the future that there will be complete acceptance of the community and untimely that people will feel less pigeon-holed.
Is there any advice you would give to the LGBTQ+ teens of today?
Please know that how you feel is normal and that people, maybe not today, but soon, will be accepting of who you are.