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Grady Brunelle

Orange County Community College

Journalism

He/Him/His

Community College

Grady grew up in Middletown, New York, which is about an hour north of New York City. Growing up with two moms, he has always been submerged in the loving energy of the LGBTQ community and was taught the importance of acceptance and equality at a very young age. Upon realizing that he is transgender in seventh grade, he isolated himself as best he could from everyone else, but he wasn’t able to avoid teasing and harassment at school. He usually muddled through and didn’t say anything when being harassed, until one day he saw a friend – another transgender student – being taunted in the same way. He knew he didn’t want anyone else to feel the way he did, so he created a GSA in his school, which now holds weekly meetings and completes projects to promote acceptance and support throughout the school. Grady realized that not everyone has the kind of support that he has at home, and wanted to create a space for kids to have undivided support and acceptance regardless of their identity or where they are in their journey. Now in high school, Grady continues his work with the high school GSA, as the president. He also frequently writes articles on LGBTQ issues for his high school newspaper, of which he is the editor. He is going to study Journalism at SUNY Orange this fall, with plans to transfer and become a full-time writer and advocate for the LGBTQ community. He is also deeply involved with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, a program for high school students that teaches life-changing inclusive leadership skills. He has big plans for the future, and absolutely cannot wait to get started!

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