Hi my name is Shyla. I grew up in a small town in Idaho where being gay was not okay especially since about 80% of the people in my town were LDS. Growing up, I hid the fact that I was gay. I was a cheerleader. I dated men and I hated my life because I couldn't truly be myself; my self-worth was very low. I just wanted to say thank you to one•n•ten for creating a place where kids can grow up happy being who they want to be.
Several years ago, a few weeks before Christmas, I was in search of a place to volunteer that aligned with my values; an organization dedicated to the needs of the individuals, regardless of sexual preference, gender identity, race, religion, and all of those other identifying labels that swirl around. I hoped to find a place that provided acceptance, love, nourishment, and support for those in need. As soon as I called one•n•ten, it was Micheal Weakley who quickly replied, “Sure, come on down Christmas Day, you can help in the kitchen.” Since then, me and the other half of this “crazy hetero couple” (as Micheal referred to Todd and I), feel a lot of love and gratitude as we help out in the kitchen and assist with Queermas each year along with other events through out the year.