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S U LLI VAN
As the son of a Mexican mother and Italian father, JD arrived on the Cheney campus of EWU four years ago and immediately wondered, "Where's the diversity?" He, a selfdescribed science geek, jumped into the biology and chemistry courses designed to prepare students for nursing school, but discovered his interests were much more social.
by Jill Wagner photos by Steve Rodenbough
D Sullivan determined it was time. Time to come out to his mom. Time to stop answering her questions evasively or even outright lying about who he was hanging out with or his plans for the weekend. So, he made reservations. First with an airline, then with a restaurant near his mom's Tacoma home. JD figured there was no backing down once he had paid for a plane ticket and promised to celebrate Mother's Day with a nice dinner just between Mom and son. Interestingly, though, JD doesn't present as the kind of person to easily back down. We met for the first time in an EWU student lounge, where he arrived precisely on time, weaving confidently between stuffed couches and end tables when he spotted me from afar. Dressed in a stylish, knit beanie, a slim-fitting American Eagle hoody, sweatpants and spotless
white sneakers, he was a typical 21-year-old college student, if perhaps slightly more fashionable. His counterparts all around us were more likely to have on baggy sweats and EWU pullovers with clunky tennis shoes, or even rubber-soled slippers. JD curled himself into an oversized lounge chair, pulled his knees to his chest and cheerfully chatted about school, work, growing up on the west side and growing into himself as a gay man. As the son of a Mexican mother and Italian father, JD arrived on the Cheney campus of EWU four years ago and immediately wondered, "Where's the diversity?" He, a self-described science geek, jumped into the biology and chemistry courses designed to prepare students for nursing school, but discovered his interests were much more social. "I didn't have the discipline," he admitted, to continue toward the career he had fixated on for many years.
But he did have the drive to join the vibrant campus life and develop his leadership skills. JD served as vice president of his residence hall council as a freshman, then in the paid position of Community Advisor for the dorms as a sophomore. He's been a regular model at the annual spring fashion show, one of the biggest events on campus, worked at restaurants or clothing stores in downtown Spokane and found his home academically in the alcohol and drug studies program. Engaging and warm, it's easy to understand how JD quickly developed a large group of friends. It was one particular guy, though, that he most enjoyed talking and hanging out with. After months of constant communication, he and JD joked about it feeling like they were dating. JD - Continued Page 20
www.qviewnorthwest.com | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | June 2009 |