Proud to have his prideBoth his passion for equal rights and the measures he’s taken to achieve them helped Jerett Reuter earn a ranking on OutFront Minnesota’s list of “25 Under 25.”
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Until his junior year at Red Wing High School, Jerett Reuter had hidden something very significant in his life — his sexual orientation.
When he finally came out and acknowledged he was gay, the teenager found himself with very few people to talk to.
“It was kind of scary because I was the only one in the school that was out,” Reuter remembered. “I didn’t really have a whole lot of people to talk to.”
When he stumbled upon Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays during his senior year, there was suddenly an entire group that accepted Reuter without question.
After just a few years of involvement, he’s a dynamic member. Since his first meeting with PFLAG, Reuter has become ajn active advocate for equal rights by educating students, contacting politicians and planning pride events in town.
“My main goal is … I’m trying to show the Red Wing community we do live in this community with you. We’re not just some silent group,” Reuter said.
Since graduating high school, Reuter has returned to his alma mater nearly 20 times simply to serve on PFLAG panels that address students in their health classes.
“We talk about bullying and all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Reuter has also planned pride events to encourage diversity acceptance locally.
Both his passion for equal rights and the measures he’s taken to achieve them helped Reuter earn a ranking on OutFront Minnesota’s list of “25 Under 25.”
OutFront Minnesota aims to make the state a place where members of the LGBT community are given the same rights as other citizens. It also works to eliminate homophobia. By taking nominations, the group created a list of 25 young leaders who are active in vying for equal rights.
Although he’s contributed heavily to Red Wing’s PFLAG efforts, Reuter said he didn’t expect to ever be honored for doing what he does.
“When I got the news it was kind of a shock because I don’t think I’m ever doing enough,” he said. “There’s always more than can be done.”
Reuter was recognized May 18 during OutFront Minnesota’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Walker Art Center in the Twin Cities.