Born and raised in San Francisco, Jack Cen grew up as the first natural-born American and the first college-bound member of his Chinese immigrant family. He came out at the age of 13 to lukewarm responses from both the Christian and Asian communities, in which his family and school were rooted.
Galvanized by the lack of available resources, Jack’s desire for support brought him into his high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. As GSA president, he led faculty and students in bringing greater LGBTQ awareness in response to the apathy for the queer community’s struggle, a result of his hometown’s history of tolerance. Jack also brought his experience in a Christian environment into advocating mutual tolerance between LGBTQ progressives and their fundamentalist opponents to reach a common ground.
In 2006, Jack joined LYRIC, a nonprofit catering to queer youth. As an intern, he led the organization’s team in fundraising over $5000 for HIV/AIDS research and worked to promote HIV/STI awareness among Bay Area teens.
An aspiring artist and activist, Jack graduated from Harvard University, specializing in nutrition and global activism. Wherever he goes, he hopes to inspire respect and compromise among communities in order to develop greater equality for all.