High SchoolEast Marshall High School
CollegeUniversity of Iowa
Ben Alley had no idea that after coming out to his parents he would be homeless. He was told not to come back after he went to school the next day.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ben was initially homeschooled by his mother, who also worked with homeless youth at a Southern Baptist church where his father was a minister.
Ben recalls his mother telling him “You don’t even deserve to be alive right now” when he told her he is gay. His father refused to look at him, but when he did he could feel his eyes burning with hatred. Despite losing his biological parents support, Ben survived in a homeless youth shelter before finding a new family support system. He continued to succeed academically at school.
Ben cofounded a Gay Straight Alliance at East Marshall High School in LeGrand, Iowa and was active in band, vocal music, school plays and musicals.
Ben will attend the University of Iowa and plans to be active with GLBTAU and hopes to be on the Iowa Pride Network Youth Leadership Council.