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Meet Griff Bisbee of The G Word

Today we’d like to introduce you to Griff Bisbee.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Griff. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Although I consider myself an outgoing person, I never really know how to answer the question: Tell me about yourself. In a sense, I feel like I’m bragging, but I guess that’s the point of the question in the first place. When it comes to my story about how I got here, it’s filled with peaks and valleys. It all started in a small town in Southern Oregon, where I grew up, that I found passion for two things: writing and helping others. It’s with the two that led me to the University of Vermont for my post-high school studies. Wanting to be a teacher, I quickly found that the classroom was not the place that I wanted to be (an advisor told me that I cursed too much to be with middle school students. They were right).

In my time in Los Angeles, I worked primarily for a vocational school, assisting at-promise young people find internships. I choose the term at-promise instead of “at-risk” because there is nothing “risky” about these young people. Instead, they are filled with promise that we need to help them see for themselves. From there, I found how similar I was to them but also realized how much was holding me back. So, I started writing in notebooks vignettes about my life. Which has now developed into a blog.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This has definitely NOT been a smooth road. It’s been bumpy with sharp turns when you aren’t expecting them. There have been many struggles (loss of my stepmom to cancer, taking a three years hiatus from college, return to college in my mid-twenties). But it’s through the struggle that I was able to find the clarity I needed to keep moving forward. Besides, life isn’t fun if there aren’t any kind of obstacles to overcome.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I currently started writing a blog. Each blog title is a song title or lyric that has been with me. Music is a big part of my life, so I wanted to incorporate that in this as much as possible. Currently, everything that I have written in my notebooks will be rolled out in my blogs. I’m a private person, so this is allowing me to be vulnerable, something this pandemic as taught me to be okay with. It’s through these vulnerabilities that I hope to find some sort of solace. Eventually, I want to turn the blog into a series of interviews, chronicling queer stories. I want to provide a safe space where other queer people, like myself, can share their stories about coming out, growing up in small towns I did, or wherever the conversation takes us.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is a difficult thing to define. For me, I think being successful is looking at something you created and being proud of it. Telling yourself: “I did that and I am so happy I did”. That’s success for me. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on social media; to me, that isn’t a marker for success. I’ll know I’m successful if someone, one person, comes to me and says, “what you wrote spoke to me.” That’s how I know I’ve made it.

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