Matthew Zapata

Sophomore Matthew Zapata entered high school facing more challenges than most freshmen do in their entire four years at Pattonville.

Zapata started cross-dressing his freshman year and the transition was not as easy as he had hoped.

“I lost some friends freshman year but I don’t care because I don’t need them to agree with what I do,” Zapata said.

Zapata has made new, supportive friends in the past year and they are very helpful and accepting, much like his mother.

“My mom is the only one in my family to support me after I decided to start dressing this way,” Zapata confessed.

Zapata said that religion is the reason for the disconnect within his family.

“I see myself as a Christian-gayer,” he said. “I’m gay, but I’m still a Christian. This is what my family doesn’t understand.”

Zapata does not only receive criticism from those in his family, but also those around him in school.

“My biggest challenge so far has been dealing with what people say to me at school.”

According to Zapata, the students at Pattonville struggle to accept the way he dresses and acts. For this reason, Zapata relies on the support of his friends, and their closets.

“I like shopping in my friends’ closets, it’s basically my favorite place to shop,” he said. “They are great about letting me borrow their clothes.”

He also chooses to help others involved in the Gay Straight Alliance Club at Pattonville.

“I’m better at giving others help rather than receiving help.”

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