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Share Your Pride: Clay shares the challenges and triumphs of his coming out experience as Two-Spirited

In celebration of Pride Month, we’ll be sharing the open and honest experiences from some of our LGBTQ2S+ team members and how they’re sharing their Pride this month, and beyond. 

As a Retail Associate from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Clay Wyght interacts with customers from all walks of life. As an Indigenous and Two-Spirited individual, Clay is a firm believer that “our race, sexuality, gender, religion these are things that make up your identity. Never ever let yourself fall for the lie that you must look or behave a certain way to be accepted.”

This is Clay’s story.

Tell us about yourself and your experience coming out as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community 

This year I came to terms with myself as Two-Spirited. This is more of a personal and spiritual coming out and, it’s an ongoing journey. I am still discovering what it means for me to be two-spirited, and my family and my husband still give me their support and love.  

My first coming out experience was hard – I wasn’t even the first one to say that I was gay. I didn’t choose to come out and I was worried about what my family might think. I was wrong to be concerned.

When I was 16, I was forced to come out as bi-curious to my father, and the police. I was being threatened by a guy from another town because, unbeknownst to me, we were dating the same person. I was on the phone with the police explaining the situation, saying the guy was threatening me because he thought I kissed his boyfriend. When the officer asked me why he thought that, I told the officer that I needed a moment to speak with my dad. Those few seconds felt like a lifetime, I put the phone on hold, looked at my dad, and told him that his only son was bi-curious. My dad laughed, he didn’t know what bi-curious was, I explained that it meant I thought I liked both boys and girls but that I “definitely” liked girls. He laughed again, and said “Whatever, you’re still my son and I still love you.” 

Two weeks later, I was in my dad’s semi-truck jamming out to Barbie Girl by Aqua and he turns off the music, the universal parental sign for “we need to talk.” My dad looked at me, took a breath in and said “Clay, you’re not bi-curious, you’re not bi, and you’re sure not straight. You’re gay.” All I could say is “You’re right.” Then, my father said something that will never leave me: “Good, now that you’re out of the closet, don’t let anyone ever push you back in, including God.” 

That was the moment I knew I could come out on my own terms, because no one had the right to tell me I wasn’t worthy of happiness. 

Looking back now, what is one piece of advice you’d share with your younger self on feeling at peace with your identity? 

“Clay – identity changes. Your race, sexuality, gender, religion these are things that make up your identity. Never ever let yourself fall for the lie that you must look or behave a certain way to be accepted. You are loved by so many people, and one day you will marry the most amazing man on the planet. You will be challenged, you will lose friends, and for a time you will be in the darkest place you can imagine. But it will make you stronger, and those friends that stay, and the new ones you gain will stand with you through thick and thin. Clay never let how others treat you dictate your happiness. As a friend will tell you when you’re 21 “don’t be afraid to be you, because who you are is pretty dang awesome.”

How will you be sharing your pride this year? 

I will be sharing my pride this year by being unapologetically me. By supporting my local and the Internal pride events, whether it’s in person or virtual. And by spending as much quality time with my husband as possible.