As a young boy, my favorite board game was Pretty Pretty Princess. I have a polaroid that captures it. I’m four years old and it’s Christmas morning. The tree is lit in the background with my mother and I sitting on the floor, grins spread ear to ear. Looking at me, you’ll notice two bejeweled necklaces around my neck, one orange and one pink. Hanging awkwardly from the top of my ear is a turquoise earring. My middle finger is adorned with a large purple diamond ring. In the distant background, two newly opened caterpillar excavators sit untouched.
I often look back on this photo and think, “This is likely the first moment of my life where I was captured living out my truth.” It took 24 years for me to come to terms with my real identity, ultimately embracing the spirit of that young boy immersed in Pretty Pretty Princess.
Growing up in rural Appalachia, I never outwardly owned being gay, though I knew I was. It was not until after college where I came to terms with this facet of my identity. I was finally on my own, beginning a new chapter in California nearly 3,000 miles away. It was here that I was led to empower the real Christopher.
One of those moments came shortly after landing at LAX. I’m standing on the curb next to a man I assumed was waiting for the shuttle too. Before long, a car pulled up and out hopped another man. He walked up to the guy next to me, they kissed, and then he placed the bags in the trunk. Off they went, embracing an identity I had long attempted to hide. It was at this moment that I realized I could no longer do that. I no longer wanted to hide.
From that point forward, the trajectory of my life changed. It helped push me to realize that living out my truth in all aspects of my life, both personal and professional, is of the utmost importance to me. Now, I find myself embracing this truth as a Financial Advisor in Los Angeles.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
By setting aside funds every paycheck in a Lifestyle Fund. This money sponsors trips and experiences that bring tremendous amounts of joy to my life. For example, it will be funding a Napa Valley trip with my two older sisters.
Outside of work, my passions include
Giving back to the people, institutions, and communities who’ve shaped my life. Health and wellness are also extremely important, and I maintain an active lifestyle with the gym, hiking, yoga, and beach volleyball. As the youngest of five, I enjoy keeping up with my siblings and making the most of being an uncle to six nephews and one niece.