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Photo of Gabrielle Kirsch

Why you should apply for the Chris Armstrong Scholarship:

By: Gabrielle Kirsch

1.      Chris Armstrong is a super hero and by applying to the Chris Armstrong Scholarship you become a super hero*.

*You are probably already a super hero.

I have a rainbow flag in my bedroom and I have no clue where it came from. After I came out of the closet, rainbow things just began appearing – buttons, bracelets, t-shirts, stickers. Did I have a gay elf following me and littering? I don’t know. After years of thinking about this phenomenon I’ve come up with two big conclusions: 1) I am a super hero and it’s the universes way of telling me my fate in this world. 2) People understand gayness by stereotyping and giving me LBGT* swag.

While this was undeniably exciting, it wasn’t what I needed. I needed role models and I needed community. When Chris Armstrong showed up in the media, my family and I spoke at dinner about the courage it takes to be yourself in public. To me, Chris Armstrong became a super hero. His story empowered me to find my courage to start a Gay Straight Alliance at my school as well as volunteer with GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) of Southeast Michigan.

When time came to apply for scholarships, I felt fated for a scholarship in the name of s student who inspired me to create change in my community. When I received the scholarship, I celebrated by rushing to tell my high school counselor who had supported me all along. I realize now that it’s all connected.

As I move into my time here at the University of Michigan, I find myself reconnecting with the same type of activists that I worked with before. I co-lead Ahava (the LGBT*/Jewish group) with a close friend and am on the board of LGBT Issues Commission through Central Student Government. Sunday nights, I sit in the CSG Chambers with LGBT Issues Commission, understanding that it was the same room that Chris sat in as the first openly gay student body president just a few years before.

Apply for the Chris Armstrong Scholarship to allow fellow activists to support you in your work.


Video of Chris Armstrong being a super hero.