• prism mag

An Open Letter to my LGBTQ+ Brothers and Sisters

Updated: May 27, 2020

By Jonathan Zane-Sharpless

My name is Jonathan Zane-Sharpless. I am a gay male who identifies as He/Him/His. I was raised in Millville and went to MSHS. My home life was a good one. I had loving parents and two siblings but that didn’t make coming out any easier. I knew from a very early age that I was different. I always gravitated towards things that were feminine. Barbies, Dolls, Etc. At the age of 11 when hormones started kicking in I realized that I was attracted to males but I denied it throughout my adolescence and teen years. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I came out to my family and friends. It was extremely difficult even though most people told me they knew all along. Coming out took a lot of pressure off of me but it did take my family quite some time to come around and accept me fully.

At the age of 22 I moved to NYC to pursue a career in musical theater as an actor. Soon after I decided it wasn’t for me and I quickly started school at Aveda New York to become a hairstylist. Once I graduated I then moved into Theater work as a wig and hairstylist. I was fortunate enough to have my families support through all of these changes and at the age of 27 I made my Broadway Debut as a wig stylist on the Tony award winning revival Pippin. After multiple Broadway shows and 5 years in Theater I made the transition to working in TV and Film full time. I have now done many projects and continue to do so. I love what I do but I also love how accepting my field of work is. They don’t judge and they love me for who I am. As far as my personal life at the age of 31 I met my now husband. We met online but we chatted on the phone for 2 weeks prior to meeting for the first time. Needless to say it was love at first sight. We just celebrated our first year of marriage, have two dogs together, and are now looking to purchase our first home before we start a family.

There are a few things that I hope you all take away from this letter. First and foremost, be yourself and live your truth because those who care about you will love you not matter what. Living your life and being your true self is not a choice.

Secondly, If you feel unsafe in your current environment please confide in your allies and in Prism. Nothing is so helpless or hopeless that it can’t be changed or fixed.

Finally remember that you deserve everything. Work hard, Dream big, and continue to tell yourself that things will get better.

Thank you for your time and love,

Jonathan Zane-Sharpless

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