Preston, the son of divorced parents, was raised by his evangelical Christian mother in rural Alabama. He always knew that he was different, and other students knew it as well. Throughout school, Preston was taunted, harassed, and bullied almost incessantly, and not just from students; some teachers even joined the discrimination. When his mother found out that Preston was gay, she had him exorcised, then kicked him out and attempted to remove the family’s affiliation with him, including all financial support.
However, Preston took those experiences and converted them into the foundation of his determination to protect other students from suffering as he did. Very active and politically involved, Preston has worked with GLSEN in various capacities, most recently as a GLSEN Media Ambassador to help promote safer schools. Preston has also started a mentoring community on Facebook called the Alabama LGBT Mentors to help support LGBTQ youth in that state.
Preston graduated Summa cum laude from The George Washington University, with a double major in international affairs and Spanish. Preston will work as a full-time research assistant at the Open Government Partnership and pursue his master’s in international economic affairs at George Washington University. He describes his life goal as working to fight all manners of oppression in order that every individual has the opportunity to achieve his or her own happiness.