Updated: Nov 17, 2020
My journey to creating HomoJo has been an erratic one. I’m aware of my privileges; I come from a supportive family, I hold a passport from a country that doesn’t make it illegal to be me, and I’ve only experienced prejudice based on my sexual orientation. There are plenty of LGBT+ people out there with a story more brutal than mine, which is exactly what inspired me to start this brand.
However I do have a story, and growing up as gay man in a military city 18 years ago was less than a treat. Multiple violent assaults based on my sexuality, daily homophobic slurs, and a lack of supportive community made me feel isolated, unwelcome, and redundant.
I moved to Canada at 27 without knowing a soul, and yet it was the first time in my life I truly experienced what it felt like to be part of a community. I met a friend called Corey who introduced me to his friends. Those friends introduced me to their friends, and a few years later, I’d met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. A vast variety of different people belonging to all facets of the LGBT+ community. They indirectly helped me to feel my value. They taught me how to make a proper Canadian camp fire, why the leaves turn brown in the autumn, how to appreciate people, and to always strive to support the differences between us.
At 33 I finally know what it feels like to be part of a community who not only accept me for who I am, but encourage it. Encouragement my friends have miraculously failed to regret as of yet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I wanted to create HomoJo as a tool for amplifying inclusion, and to diminish internal bullying. I did this in hope that more people will benefit from the strength and support that I know a more united LGBT+ community can provide.