Raymond Lin

Q: Tell us about your time at smyal:

A: When I first attended the SMYAL coming out group, I was both ecstatic and scared as many people are when first looking for resources. It was a great, safe (stress on SAFE) way to talk with peers about similar concerns and I met lots of great people who helped me learn more about myself and about the diverse LGBT community. It was great to feel “normal” with people who had similar concerns and questions. It’s now over 26 years later, and I’m still great friends with someone I met at SMYAL!

Q: Where are you now?

A: I’m now a federal government contractor serving as a Technical Software Project Manager and Team Lead. My husband and I have been together for over 21 years and were married in Vancouver, BC over six years ago. We were fortunate to have 35 friends and family join us at our wedding ceremony and subsequent Alaskan cruise; attendees included our parents, my brother and sister-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, my 88 year old grandmother, and our closest friends. We love to travel—favorite destinations are Hawaii, Las Vegas, Whistler Canada (snowboarding!), Europe, and Walt Disney World.

Q: What advice would you give current smyal youth?

A: Life will throw lots of challenges your way and those are opportunities for growth. Choose wisely and learn from mistakes when you don’t choose wisely. Relax; everything doesn’t have to be perfect right now—you have time.