Meet Our Scholars
University of Southern California
HSBC Point Scholar
Growing up in a small town near New Orleans, Louisiana, Julian Turner experienced racism, homophobia, and discrimination from the moment he stepped into the world. In the summer of 2014, Jules came out as gay to his father in the backseat of his sister's car. By the time they left the car, there was a permanent rift between him and his father. Unlike in the past where he would have been spiteful, Jules saw an opportunity to make a difference. He realized that the altercation with his father provided him an experience to use to impact the world. From that moment on he opened up about his sexuality and the resulting ostracism he felt from his community, including his family. As a result, he had begun to make his community more knowledgeable about the struggles LGBTQ youth face. In his senior year of high school, Jules Turner started his area's very first gay-straight alliance. After years of battling depression in the process of finding himself, Jules decided that he would use his experiences to help others have a more peaceful process of self-acceptance. Whenever asked why he tells his story even though it brings up painful memories, he responds, 'If we stop talking about the issues we face in the world, it makes it easier for others to ignore them. Sweeping dirt under the rug does not make it disappear; it just makes a bigger mess somewhere else.'