Young people who are questioning their sexuality or have recently come to accept the fact they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender face some extreme challenges. They may be rejected by their friends or worse--by their families. They may think their future dreams and goals may no longer be possible because of their sexuality. They may feel they are unable to continue on the same path they saw themselves on before discovering their sexuality. They may feel they will not be able to enter the career they have always dreamed of.
A lot of young LGBT and questioning individuals do not personally know any people like themselves. Odds are even less favorable that they have a LGBT role model in the career they are interested in. They may feel there is no place for a LGBT person in that particular field. They have probably been told, directly or indirectly, LGBT people can't possibly be police officers or firefighters for example. Or maybe they feel there are no openly gay people in professional sports. This can be a huge deterrent to a young LGBT or questioning person.
The You Can Be Anything Project aims to fill this void. Our mission is to support LGBT and questioning youth in achieving their future career goals and aspirations, to help them to realize their potential and that they can indeed BE anything! Our goal is to provide a vast array of successful LGBT role models across a wide spectrum of careers. We want to show our young people they can be anything regardless of their sexuality. We will accomplish this through video testimonials and stories submitted by people from all over the world. With your help we hope to be the example for our young people, encouraging them not only to follow but to surpass. We hope to provide youth with all of the positive encouragement they need to combat the negative influences they face within their communities.
If you are LGBT and wish to be one of these important role models, please submit your story. Without you, this project will not succeed. Even if you do not feel your story is very unique or interesting, you never know who may benefit from it. If you are not out at work, that's okay too. You can still submit a written story anonymously. Although being out of the closet is a tremendous help to our cause, we understand not everyone is in a situation which allows them to be open about their sexuality. We also welcome our straight allies to submit your stories about positive experiences with your LGBT coworkers. Instead of telling your story, simply explain how your coworker is just as capable as their heterosexual counterparts. Tell of the admiration you feel for your coworker for being who they are at work and not hiding their true self.
Brett Dunckel is the founder of You Can be Anything, Inc. Brett was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL where he still resides today. Brett is currently a Firefighter Paramedic and is openly gay. Growing up Brett knew he had attractions toward the same sex but had a hard time identifying himself gay. He knew he didn't fit any of the stereotypes he wrongly knew of gay people. Brett also didn't think it was possible for a gay person to be a firefighter. It wasn't until he began his career in the fire service that Brett came to realize the stereotypes were wrong and his sexuality did not limit him in anyway. It was at that point Brett finally accepted the fact he is gay.
By creating You Can be Anything, Brett hopes to encourage our LGBTQ youth to dream big and become anything they want. He hopes to help these youth achieve their goals by providing encouragement and assisting financially through academic scholarships. Brett seeks to use the YCBA project to help those whose families have denied their individual value or abandoned them because of their sexuality.
Brett has also provided his autobiography for a book who's proceeds fund a scholarship for LGBT police officers. If you are interested in reading his story as well as the stories of other LGBT persons in public safety, purchase the book "American Heros Coming Out From Behind The Badge" today. The book may be found at www.comingoutfrombehindthebadge.com.
Brett is available to speak to LGBTQ Youth Groups, GSA's, or similar groups. If you are interested in having him speak to your group please feel free to contact him here.
You Can Be Anything, Inc. is a 501c3 tax exempt organization. All donations made to You Can Be Anything are tax deductible.