I'm Not In Kansas Anymore image

“Because of the Shack Out Back, I am able to accept who I am today.”
I was born in Kansas City, in 1978, where I was immediately placed into foster care. I was never abused there, nor was I neglected in any way.  However, I’ve always felt alone, which can seem much worse than a fist can hurt.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve seen people come and go. Some became friends for a while, but most of the time I kept to myself. It just didn’t seem to waste my time and energy building relationships with people who I’d only know for a couple of months, at most.

By the time I turned eighteen, just like that, I was thrown out onto the street, with nothing more than a bag of clothes and 100 dollars.  Needless to say, I was scared out of my mind. I had never been anywhere on my own before, and freedom, in itself, was the most intimidating feelings I have ever experienced.

Fortunately, despite my lack of street smarts, I had a plan. I was going to get a job, and get myself the hell out of Kansas City. I despised Kansas. It was loud and large and mean, and I didn’t want anything to do with it ever again.

Like most plans, mine didn’t work out so well. I ended up spending the next ten years in Kansas City, working the night shift in a manufacturing plant. My dream was still there, though. It just had a lot of time to grow and develop over the years.

Eventually, I went back to school to become an accountant, so that I could finally break free of Kansas City. This summer I finally graduated. I now work in human resources for the same company that I’ve worked for since I was eighteen, but I now live just outside of Wichita, where it’s quiet and relaxing and suits me just fine.

I’m not ‘out of the closet’, and don’t think I ever will be, nor am I an active Shack Out Back member. However, I’ve been a lurker for almost seven years now. I’m writing this today because if it wasn’t for the Shack, which helped me come to terms with my sexuality, I never would have had the courage to go back to school and make something of myself.

For that, Comicality and friends, I am forever grateful.  Thank you for changing my life.

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