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Gavin Telford

In Gavin Telford’s therapy office, it’s comfy lamps and cozy rugs only — no fluorescent lights! Gavin is an early intervention therapist for youth and young adults experiencing psychosis. Up until 10 years ago, Gavin’s plan-A had been to become a high school English teacher. A month away from graduating with his English degree, he came across a study that reflected a correlation between Utah’s extremely high suicide rate among teenagers and the LGBTQ+ community. The next thing Gavin knew, he was continuing his education to bridge the gap between his English degree and becoming a therapist. Two years of volunteer work later, he was accepted into the graduate program of social work at the University of Utah. Gavin has worked as a therapist in a high school and worked at a crisis center for teenagers, leading him to his current job. Not to mention, he is a dog-father to the sweetest pup, Puck.

Hero’s Journey I struggled to make friends when I was younger, and I was often bullied by some of the boys at school. Fortunately, I was able to find friends who loved me unconditionally, and they helped me learn to love myself. As I grew older, I knew that many people would not like me because I was gay, but I knew that the friends I made along the way would love me regardless. It is my opinion that we should always seek quality above quantity, and sincerity above simplicity.

Daily Underscore This past year — The Aces. Of all time — The Early November.

Vital Title “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. This book really affected me as a teenager, because it was my first glimpse into a perspective so similar to my own, that I no longer felt invisible and alone. We all need that first book (or poem, painting, movie or song) that helps us understand ourselves, and to teach us that others can understand us if we are willing to try. I often wonder who provided that for Stephen Chbosky.

Character Backstory Most people wouldn’t know that I consensually kissed Katy Perry’s face in 2011.

Dream Storybook World Mr. Rogers’ ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe’ because diversity was celebrated, and people learned from their mistakes as they learned about others.

The Sequel I hope to have found out more about myself and others. I hope I can love how uncomfortable a new experience can be. I hope I can begin to smile in gratitude for having ever had something that I lost.