Overcoming. Persistent. Authentic.
How does one go from being a severely depressed, homophobic, suicidal teen to being an empowered and passionate leader in the LGBTQ community? Tune in to this week’s episode of The brave Files to meet Mason Aid, who has done just this!
Mason is gender fluid and non-binary and, as such, uses they/their/them pronouns. While this may still be new to many people, it is an important question for many people today, "what are your pronouns." This is just one of the many things Mason teaches those they work with.
In this episode, Mason shares their story of being a troubled teen with suicidal tendencies, living in a deeply conservative and religious small town and hiding who they truly are from everyone, even themself. Despite going through the darkest of times - - with determination, a lot of hard work and the loving support of their parents, Mason has overcome many obstacles and is now a mentor to kids venturing down a similar path.
One of the most interesting elements of the interview converges around Mason’s deep desire to reclaim their religion and do it in a safe and authentic way. Religion and spirituality is an integral part of Mason’s identity and being excommunicated from their former church, after coming out, was pure hell but faith has a way of finding, and clinging to, Mason. They are now an elder of an inclusive, sanctuary congregation where they are living out what it really means to be like Christ.
This is a truly inspirational story of the possibilities of turning your life around by first starting to be real with yourself. Mason may still have some bumps as they navigate bipolar disorder, starting a new business, having a family and, well, life in general. But it is real, it is 100% authentic and it is completely inspiring.
Mason is launching their own podcast "All The Letters" on June 28th. It's going to be super interesting so be sure to check it out!
Mason has written some beautiful and powerful blog posts about many of the topics discussed in the episode. I highly encourage you to check them out!
Loving yourself and being true to who you really are is the first step to freedom
There is a large community of Christians that are working to reclaim the word “Christian” just as the LGBT community reclaimed the word queer.
Assumptions go both ways! It is as important to let go of our assumptions as much as we want others to let go of theirs.
GIVING IS GOOD:
Mason's favorite charitable organization to support The Trevor Project - A national 24-hour, toll-free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Mason also urges us to find and support your local LGBTQ center, volunteer, donate and be part of the community.
Mason's Professional Bio:
Mason Aid is an LGBTQ educator and advocate focused on helping business owners be LGBTQ inclusive in their language and processes. They grew up on a small farm in rural Northeast Missouri and have since moved to the teeming metropolis of Columbia, Missouri.
They got their start working with LGBTQ teens and found passion through this work. Seeing the experiences and lives of these amazing youth had a profound impact on Mason, and through their volunteer work, they found opportunities training educators and social service providers. They have since grown those opportunities into a business working with online entrepreneurs to help others avoid the “accidental asshole” moment.
Mason loves spending time with their wife and baby, going on walks, cooking good food, and pretending to be a pretentious coffee snob.