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July 6, 2012

Conversations from Twitter – Part 8

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/conversations_from_twitter_part_8_20120706/

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Twitter's @WillLoveInc

When I started this series of interviews a lot of people wrote to tell me I should talk to @WillLoveInc because he was fabulous.  I did not follow Will and he did not follow me, so I was curious about who this person was.  Before I got a chance to check him out, he tweeted that I was too scared to interview him.  Really?  Scared?  I set up the interview the next day.

Will is a very sweet young man.  He was respectful and kind to me and for by the end of our chat I felt genuine affection for him.  He is honest, open, funny, vulnerable, strong and brave.  Will is from New Jersey and works as a writer, on-air radio personality, and a model.  He has a vision for his future and he is on the path to achieving his goals.

Will was born and raised in New Jersey.  He started college but when his career took off he suspended his studies to work, but knows he will eventually go back and finish his degree.  He has been working since he was 14 years old and was putting himself through college, so he will get back to school and when he does he will pay for it on his own.

Will is close with his mother, but has a somewhat strained relationship with his dad.  He loves them both, but their relationships were defined when he came out as a gay man, and their reactions years ago still play a role in his life now.  Will had been bullied as a child and the support of his mother has meant the world to him.  His father was a little slower to the gate.

Will was a sensitive kid who always stood up for the underdog, even though he was often one himself.  When he was 17 he became depressed as he was not living his life out loud and he needed to be honest with himself in order to be able to dream big.  He decided it was time for him to come out and opted to do so in a big way, regardless of how it was received.

There is a magazine in New Jersey called Out in Jersey.  Every summer they have a contest to find a local cover model.  Will decided he was not only going to enter the contest, but he was going to try to win it.  He submitted himself as a cover model and emailed everyone he knew to vote for him. That is the brave and powerful way in which he came out.

Every member of his family, every friend, and every acquaintance got a link to the magazine to vote for Will.  To go from no discussion of being gay, to I’m gay now vote for me, was a giant leap of faith for Will, as well as his family and friends.  Some embraced him, some shunned him, and many voted for him.  He was out, he was not afraid, and he was happy.

It was a bold choice to be sure, but it was never about getting attention as much as it was about seeking empowerment.  He lost the contest by less than 100 votes, which is a drag, but in the end he was the winner because he was finally going to live his best life without fear.  He has no regrets and he is comfortable with all of the reactions his coming out got.

Will was in a long-term relationship with a man that he loved very much, but it ended a year ago and he has been focused on work rather than love.  It was a hard break up and it took a minute to recover.  By recover of course I mean that no matter what your sexual orientation is, a broken heart is crushing and it takes a minute to trust yourself again.

Sidebar:  I think it’s interesting that when it comes to the heart, we are all the same.  Men, women, gay, straight, white, black, Jew or gentile, a broken heart feels the same way.  It’s sad that we can’t be kind to one another based on our similarities rather than have so much hate based on our differences.  Our hearts connect us all in a powerful way.

I asked Will to describe himself in three words and he chose driven, outspoken and authentic.  I would add lovely, charming, and sweet to his list. Will wants to live his life without a script, being completely honest with himself, and pursuing his goals with direction, purpose, and joy.  He is happy, he is healthy, and he is whole, so love will come.

Five years from now Will would like to be working for Clear Channel at one of their radio stations in Los Angeles or Boston as a DJ.  I think he will achieve that goal.  This kid knows what he wants, knows how to get it, and nothing will stand in his way.  There is something very refreshing and exciting about listening to a young person share their dreams.

In terms of reality television, Will watches the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and New Jersey.  He grew up in the MTV realty TV generation and watched Real World back in the day.  He is not a fanatic about it, but he watches.  He reads a few reality blogs, mine included, and he found my blog through people he follows on Twitter, which is cool.

Will told me he was nervous to talk to me and wanted for me to like him.  It was a very sweet thing to say and so I will end my blog saying this: I like you Will.  I think you are funny, smart, charming, and talented.  You are going to do wonderful things with your life.  I predict you get your dream job, and your dream man, because you are brilliant at keeping it real.

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