Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces from José Márquez on Vimeo.

A view into Michael’s life and how he finds supports as he comes out.

Michael Moffatt, 18 recently went through the coming out process with his family and has been in a constant struggle because of his sexual orientation. Michael is a senior at Buena High School in Ventura, Calif. He is President and co-founder of the We Stop Hate club, Vice President of the German club, Team Manager of the Mock Trial club, member of the Rowing team and volunteers at the Sailing Center.

Despite being an excelling student and part of many clubs, sports, and volunteer work, Michael feels the support he needs from his parents isn’t there. When Michael came out to his parents, he was asked to leave his home. Feeling distraught, Michael was ready to leave, but his parents stopped him at the door and kept him from leaving. This has become a routine in the Moffatt household.

Not feeling accepted at home for his homosexuality has drifted Michael to seek support elsewhere. He discovered Rainbow Umbrella through a friend who had recently joined the support group. Rainbow Umbrella is an anonymous support group for the LGBTQ community that meets every Friday at the Westpark Community Center in Ventura, Calif. It’s a space for the LGBTQ youth to express themselves, seek support and be themselves.

Michael has found a great support system in Rainbow Umbrella. “The biggest thing that Rainbow Umbrella has helped me with is feeling like I’m not alone,” he says. ” Feeling kind of like you can be involved and there are things that you can do to change your situation and that you can be yourself.”

Although Michael has found support and a sense of community in Rainbow Umbrella, he was grounded the moment his parents learned about the group. His parents forbade him from attending the weekly group meetings. Michael is now forced to lie to his parents in order to attend every Friday afternoon.

Michael has set his goals very high. Once he graduates from high school he hopes to attend law school somewhere far from home and continue helping people and make sure there is tolerance and equality in this world. He’s still hopeful and believes that one day his parents will accept him.