Ever since I was a kid, I remember wanting to be a number of different things when I grew up. I wanted to be a veterinarian to help animals, a ‘medicine doctor’ to make medicine that actually tasted okay, a radio personality on a morning radio show, or even an astronaut and be able to go to Mars. When I started band in middle school and fell in love with music, I ended up deciding to become a high school band director. Years passed by and I worked to try and become a better musician and get accepted into a music education program at some college, anywhere.
I didn’t get accepted anywhere for music. I didn’t even apply to very many colleges. I applied to two: the University of Northern Colorado and Texas State University. Back then I didn’t have much confidence in myself and I felt like I wasn’t good enough to even apply to big name universities. I got into Texas State University but didn’t get into the school of music there, which as you can imagine screwed up my entire life plan. After going through about a year of emotional and mental turmoil I decided on a whim to change my major to mass communication, and I haven’t ever regretted it. I love what I’m doing and I love the course my life is taking right now, and everything feels right.
Whenever I think about what my goal in life is, I think back to all the times that I felt like I was really doing what I wanted to do, what I was supposed to do. Everything always came up short, though. I was doing what I wanted to do, but it never felt like it was what I was meant to do. I realized everything I did was working towards something and it was all coming down to one thing: I wanted to make the world a better place. But even this felt a little off. Now that I had figured out what I knew I wanted to do and how to do it, the one thing I realized I’ve always been sure of 100% was that I want to be a father.
I was pretty much forced ‘out of the closet‘ when I was 15. This is a long and personal story that I don’t care to really share on the Internet, but I’ve been ‘out’ for about 7 years. I really grew into myself as a gay man during a time where being gay was just starting to become more of an outward thing people do instead of having to hide in the shadows. It was such a tough time because there weren’t very many role models to look up to, and growing up in a pretty religious family was definitely an obstacle. When marriage equality was passed in 2015, it was such an emotional thing for me. I never believed that I would be able to marry someone I love, and now a year later it’s just a no-brainer.
Becoming a father as a gay man is not easy. Stigmas still exist and I imagine living in Texas will just make it harder, but someday I will be a dad. With the conservative government we have right now and for the next four years, I’m afraid the progress we made as a country is in danger. Our vice president and many others think I shouldn’t have the same rights as other people, that I shouldn’t be able to marry the man that I love and have a family with him. It’s scary to think I might lose my rights, but I want to work to make sure my rights and the rights of others won’t be taken away. I want a world where kids like 15-year-old me can feel safe and know they are not alone. I hope someday in the future we can have that world, but until then I want to make it better and be someone that my kid, or kids, can look up to and be proud of.
Chris Soliz, 22
Mass communication major, Texas State University