An Inside View From Ryan Hunt


Ryan Sacatelli

Ryan Hunt, 12, leads the winter assembly as the student body president.

Elizabeth Beagle, Editor

Painting his nails, playing with Bratz dolls and dressing up were some of Ryan Hunt’s, 12, favorite childhood activities. As a six year old, Hunt only saw these activities as things that made him happy; however, he always knew that he was not like many other boys. As time has progressed, Hunt has come to the realization that he is gay.

“During middle school I just came to the realization that I was gay. It wasn’t an ah-ha moment it was like a slow realization. I was pretty okay with it. I didn’t really know what to think of it since I was just so young. I didn’t think of it like it was a bad thing or this shouldn’t be happening. I kind of just felt okay with me” Hunt said.

For the first few years of his life, Hunt lived on Fort Carson military base. Hunt ended up moving to a house right across from Bree Cramer, 11, whom he played dress-up with for much of his childhood. As a nail painting enthusiast, Hunt was not bound by any gender stereotypes, and thus his childhood great.

“My mom did not really care what I did as long as I was super happy, and so she kinda just let me live out my life, and discover different aspects about myself,” Hunt said.

Elementary school for Hunt was nothing out of the ordinary, he even had the typical elementary school girlfriend. Though Hunt has always felt that he was not a typical boy, it was not until middle school that Hunt began to realize that he might be attracted to the males as well.

During that time, Hunt classified himself as being bisexual in which he believed that he was attracted to both females and males. By the eighth grade, however, it became apparent to Hunt that there was no attraction to females, and by definition, Hunt recognized that he was gay.

“Coming out, it was pretty slow at first. It was in eighth grade when I came out to a few friends, and then my family a couple months later,” Hunt said. “Then in sophomore year I made a Facebook post announcing that I came out. I was generally pretty open about it at that point. If people were to ask me if I was gay, I wouldn’t deny it. I just didn’t overtly say that I was gay.”

Reactions were not explosive, and to Hunt’s surprise, the people who found out were not too surprised. Many suspected it prior to asking Hunt, and Hunt thought that the scarves that he constantly wore had been an indicator. Coming out, Hunt was welcomed by a major wave of support from his family, and acceptance from many of his friends and peers.

In the last two years, awareness and a rights movement for the LGBT community has risen. Today, gay marriage is legal due to the 2015 supreme court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which overturned the ban on gay marriage on a vote five to four. Though LGBT has made advances, members still aim for social acceptance and understanding.

“I definitely think that there needs to be more awareness, especially for smaller towns where we don’t necessarily have giant LGBT population that can help educate people on different issues that we face,” Hunt explained. “Sometimes I just kinda go with it. I don’t really let other people’s criticism get in the way of how I dress or how I act. I just let myself be myself, then people just kind of go along with it. A social goal of mine be probably be to increase acceptance in general with new friends or with people that disagree with this. Being able to get their acceptance. I mean if they don’t accept me, then that’s fine, but just raising acceptance and being generally happy.”

A long-standing debate on whether being lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender is a voluntary choice is still running today. According to PBS, scientists Shang-Ding Zhang and Ward F. Odenwald have run experiments using fruit flies and collected data involving something along the lines of a ‘gay’ gene.

“I definitely don’t think it’s a choice. I wrote a college essay on this. I basically wrote out my whole life story. Doing that it kinda made me realize that is has never been a choice, and there has always been different signs and indicators saying that I’m definitely not like other boy, and I’m not attracted to women. Also having both parents as science teachers is definitely made me realize that,” Hunt said.

When the choice of change proved false by science, there was little to do but to live life as it is. When asked if he had the option to change genetically so that he would be straight, Hunt replied,

“I think socially, yes. Just because I wouldn’t have to face as much judgement, and I wouldn’t have to live life as that social minority. I think just in general, for my own self esteem and personal happiness. I wouldn’t just because I like who I am now. I don’t think I would want it any other way.”

For those who are are struggling with coming terms with themselves or are struggling in the social world, Hunt explained that as person needs live his or her life. Hunt still faces some challenges, but has decided to look at the good instead. He continues to strive towards life goals and refuses to let others dim his bright future.