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Tommy Finney speaks from the heart, while keeping it real!!

In April I saw on Perez Hilton blog his post about Kenneth Weishuhn Gay Iowa Teen who committed suicide. I wanted to know more so I Googled and it led me to Huffington Post. As I read further I was heart broken. but what I notice was a video by Tommy where he showed his frustration and true emotion on this subject. I knew that I had to interview him and be educated on the LGBT community.

KSY:Tell us a little bit about yourself?

T:. I am a 21 year old student studying business and spanish at the University of Minnesota. I recently discovered that I wanted to start cross dressing, both as a male and female. I have had a lot of great experiences doing this and plan on continue doing so for the rest of my life! I'm so bad at writing bios, there is so much to my life….. its almost impossible to summarize it in a paragraph!

KSY:What is the different between  people thinking they are gay and knowing (Explain)

T: I think the difference (especially when you are not openly out, in school for example) is that people can and will always speculate, but when you openly say that you are gay I believe a lot of the "fun" of harassment and gossip will start to dwindle away. In other words, I think that after coming out as homosexual a lot of people who may have given you a hard time before start to back off. I think this happens for two reasons - first, those who criticize and speculate may feel bad and guilty for harassing someone who actually IS gay. Secondly, it takes a lot of the fun out of it. It's fun for kids to try and expose others for something they are hiding (especially if its really obvious). Coming out and saying, "yes, i am gay" takes all the fun out of it for the others. HOWEVER, coming out is a ridiculously scary and hard process. There will always be the possibility of more harassment after coming out. My biggest advice in regards to bullying is to take control of your life and TELL SOMEONE what is going on.

KSY:You've have said  that you wearing makeup is a self expression and it has nothing to do with your sexuality can you explain what you meant?

T: I believe that how you choose to display yourself (clothing, makeup, etc) has nothing to do with your sexuality. For example, I happen to be a gay male who wears makeup and women's clothing. However, there are many straight males who decide to do the same. Although they do not typically portray themselves this way in public, I want to respect their choices and make it known that males both straight and gay are able to wear makeup and/or women's clothing.

KSY:How can we educate parent's of gay teen's to be open and listening and not take away their emotional and financial support?

T: I think parent's who deprive their children of both their financial and emotional support for the sole fact that they don't approve of their child's sexuality is absolutely the most repulsive thing I have ever heard of in my life. I have tried to think very hard about the psychological reasons why parents would act this way, but to be honest I am so far away from reaching any suitable conclusion. I do believe education plays a huge role in this, however. Parents who fear that their children will get AIDS, will be outcasted from social activities or even worse, are extremely uneducated. This, from first hand experience, is not the case. ANYONE can contract AIDS  - straight or gay. ANYONE can be outcasted from society (in today's world.. the homophobes ironically enough). It's time to wake up and smell the roses, darlings. I am trying so hard to find a way of educating parents and their children that life is NOT black and white. Just because your life may be different from someone else's, doesn't mean you are a bad person!

KSY:What more can we do to stop bullying and suicide among gay teen's?

T: I think bullying will, unfortunately, always be apart of our world. We are basing so much of our self-worth and confidence around superficial things. We see fabulous lifestyles on TV shows like The Real Housewives &; Keeping Up With The Kardashians, when in reality 1% of the entire WORLD lives like that. With this, we put heterosexual relationships high on a pedestal. I think the best and most effective way to stop teen suicides is to educate the teens themselves about what bullying really is. Those who bully other kids, usually the vulnerable ones, have extreme mental problems themselves. Whether its a ridiculously low self-esteem or anger towards their parents and society, bullies take their own mental aggression out on kids who can't or won't stick up for themselves. I think once kids realize how sad and unhappy bullies actually are, its much easier to at least understand what their bullying really means. It's not because you really are the biggest loser in the entire world, but rather they see a target on which they can release their own problems. In reality, bullies display 95% of their own problems onto the kids they bully. For example, a super insecure football player who is struggling with same sex idealizations of his own, is much more likely to bully someone for being gay (or seemingly so) than the football player who is very comfortable and confident of his attraction to women.

KSY: How do you want to contribute to the gay community? do you want to start your own organization?

T: I would love to start my own organization of some sort. I'm not sure exactly what it will be, but I know I want to help LGBT youth. The struggles that we go through in our early years are something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, if we let it do so. Taking back our power is a huge necessity if a child wants to live a happy, sober life. Society today thinks that if a kid doesn't commit suicide during middle or high school, they have made it through and everything will be okay. Unfortunately, this is NOT the case. The trauma obtained in our early years will stay with us for eternity. It blows my mind how high the percentages of LGBT people who have drug and alcohol dependency problems. In my opinion, a life of addiction is worse than suicide. The pain and suffering that so much of the LGBT community experiences through drug and alcohol addiction is horrific. I believe educating children about how to work through the traumatic memories of childhood is their biggest chance of living a happy life.

KSY: Why did you make a video on Kenneth James W? what are we as a society missing?

T: I made the video because I wanted to wake people up about what is really going on. It is so horrifying to me that all these kids are committing suicide, yet so little is being done about it by our government and schools. I agree we will never be able to stop bullying all together, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. The desperation these kids experience is truly heartbreaking - and it's time for more people to understand this. As a society, we are missing so much education. I hate to use the word therapy, because so many people have such stigmas about it, but in reality it saves lives. Letting kids know that there IS hope and a chance for a better life is the biggest possibility for saving their lives. Life won't get better if you sit around drinking, smoking weed, or injecting meth all day. It will slowly start getting worse and worse, until you realize how bad your life has gotten. At this point, what incentive is there to get clean? Not only do you have all the problems you were running away from to begin with, but now a whole host of new ones that come with addiction.

KSY:What are the issues the LGBT community facing?

T: I want to say the largest issue the LGBT community is facing is having low self-worth. Whether you were raised in a super liberal or conservative household, society today tells us that being gay is NOT right. Kids grow up thinking there is something internally wrong with them. The fact that gay marriage is illegal sends the LGBT community the entirely wrong message. If being who you are and marrying the person you love is ILLEGAL, what stops us from doing other illegal activities? We know that being who we are is not wrong, but since the government is telling us it is, our sense of right and wrong get completely out of whack. If being gay is wrong, is meth REALLY that bad or have we just been brainwashed by the government? Of course, in reality, meth is one of the most destructive things a person could ever do, but the point is if the government tells us being who we are is wrong, what stops an LGBT person from knowing the difference between right and wrong with all the other laws in our world? From stealing to drug and alcohol usage, we are able to see the immense self-worth issues the LGBT community faces.

KSY:How can we as a society to education ourselves and reach out to the LGBT community?
T: I think volunteering and working with the community is the best way to come out and help others. Talking and sharing your story is a huge part of this. Success stories, as well as failure stories, are crucial to letting others know what is really going on in our world. Pretending to live in a world of glamour and artificial happiness gives everyone the wrong message. BMWs and expensive purses don't bring happiness in any sense of the word.

KSY:What are your favorite stores to shop at and why?

T:I love shopping at Forever 21 and Nordstroms. I like really girly outfits and shoes, especially things that a 5 year old girl would wear. I think because I never had the experience of growing up as a girl and was therefore denied of all things glittery and pink, I am now obsessed with being super, super feminine and girly. I love Claires and Icing, and really anything that has massive amounts of glitter and diamonds (especially with jewelry!)
KSY:What type of world would you like to live in?
T: I want to live in a world where gender is not even something to talk about. Girls can be boys and boys can be girls, but most of all society would not subject them to the heartache that they currently do. For example, effeminate boys growing up are taught that that's wrong. Skipping, wearing dresses and makeup is something for GIRLS, not boys. Which, again, is trauma that if these boys choose to, will take years of therapy later in life to work out. I want to see the day where there is no "male" or "female" and people can simply live the lives they want to.
KSY: What is one of the biggest misconception about the LGBT community that you want to set the record straight on?
T: I think the biggest misconception is that we are all drug and sex addicts. I hate how so many LGBT people think that in order to show their acceptance of themselves, they feel the need to dress as complete hoe-bags. For example, during Pride weekend (which just occurred here in Minneapolis) alcohol is rampant as well as scantily clad boys and girls. To me, Pride weekend should consist of SOBER families and people in the community. Instead, what we get is a bunch of drunk and high people who hate themselves. It's the absolutely worst image we can give off to those in and out of our community. It makes me really sad to see this, but again, until they are ready to get help there is very little anyone else can do. 
KSY:What are 5 things you can't live with out?
T: I cannot live without - relationships (friends and family), makeup, nail polish, music, and alone time.
KSY: If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps what advice would you give them?
T: I would say love yourself and be who you are. It sounds so stupid and easy, but its the only way to happiness. Again, self-worth (how much you love yourself) plays a huge role in what I am trying to do. I have made so much progress in the past year, but still have so much to do. It's a very long process, but BE WHO YOU ARE and LOVE YOURSELF no matter what your friends, family or relatives think. I hate when I see people following famous people (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, etc) so I would never say to try and be me. I was obsessed with Nicki last year, but quickly realized when I got sober……. IM NOT HER. I am me, which is even better! :) You are who you are and if you own it, you will makes tons of REAL friends and have relationships you never thought were possible.

KSY: What is on thing nobody knows about you?

T: I literally don't think there is anything that no one knows about me…. which is sad in a way, but also really exciting that I have been able to let people so closely into my life :)

**Note:Tommy has a Web show On Youtube every Monday where he talks about his life, fashion, issues within the LGBT community. subscribe at :dahoodtranny

Special Thanks to Tommy Finney and Huffington Post


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