The Camp 10 - Kyle Young

I recently changed jobs at the University of Kansas, which has made me reflective about the last couple of years. One role that I have enjoyed during that time period is being the faculty adviser for KU’s chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM), which is an LGBTQA organization for students and allies in the STEM fields.

All of this self-reflection helped me choose the subject of my interview this month. Kyle Young is a fourth-year engineering student who helped found KU’s chapter of oSTEM in the fall of 2013. His drive and determination have helped the organization to thrive since its very beginning. However, Kyle isn’t just a student and club organizer, but also a young man with diverse interests and hobbies that include rock climbing and brewing beer. He is a dynamic person, and I have enjoyed coming to know him.

1. You helped to establish KU’s chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. What led you to this, especially since KU already has more than one LGBT organization?

I had noticed my LGBTQQIA+ peers in STEM did not have a community with which they could identify. I thought that oSTEM would be a good opportunity to foster the “in it together” community, as we are often marginalized within the STEM field at large.

2. What has been your most rewarding experience in oSTEM?

The most rewarding experience that I’ve had with oSTEM was the chance to really showcase just how much our chapter had grown over the few short months since our founding. It was nice to collaborate with fellow chapters and to network with queer-friendly professionals on ideas on how to make STEM more inclusive for the queer community.

3. Besides your involvement in oSTEM, you are also a full-time engineering student. What would you like to do in the engineering field after you graduate?

My dream job within engineering is to one day open up my own rapid-prototyping and design firm focused on providing professional consultation services for everyday entrepreneurs and inventors to help make their dreams a reality.

4. Have you ever had any issues being an openly gay man at KU, particularly in the STEM field?

Based on how the existing STEM industry at-large has traditionally viewed members of the LGBTQQIA+ community, I have had reservations about discussing my personal life with coworkers or in job interviews. I’ve felt apprehensive in discussions with industry professionals about openly sharing my personal life, including relationships and life experiences. I have never felt ashamed for my membership within the queer community, but I believe that some STEM professionals could potentially perceive my inclusion in this minority as a negative characteristic or even reduce my identity to stereotypical stigmas.

5. In your free time, one of your hobbies is rock climbing. How old were you when you first started?

I was 5 years old when my parents found me climbing trees in my backyard using an improvised harness that I had fashioned out of odd bits of rope. Basically, in order to prevent me from killing myself, my parents took me to a local rock-climbing wall every Wednesday, where I really found my passion for the hobby.

6. Why do you like rock climbing?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being on the face of a rock where you have the exposure of wind whipping around you and you can’t hear anything — it is just you and the rock. I find that my mind completely clears and all I am thinking about is my next step. I love the simple beauty of it – the only option I have while being on a 600-foot face is to go up. I am able to live completely in the moment and forget about the stressors in my life. You go up or you don’t go at all.

7. What has been the most challenging climb that you have ever done?

Honestly, the hardest climb for me was the first few climbs after a nasty fall that I had a few years ago. I had to learn to overcome the fear and to push myself to get back to the wall after seriously injuring myself. I found myself having to regain the confidence and strength that it took to maintain the mentality of a passionate rock climber. The drive of the rock-climbing mentality is to constantly challenge oneself to push to the next hardest, more physically challenging climb. The hardest climb will always be the next one.

8. And, of course, I can’t interview you without asking about beer brewing. How did you start brewing?

A few years ago, at my first-ever college party, I had my first taste of beer, which happened to be a Boulevard Wheat. I found myself fascinated by the intricately complex characteristics of the beer and more excited about the nuances of the flavor than I was about the intoxicating effects of the alcohol. From that point on, I decided that I was going to uncover and explore the age-old art of brewing beer.

9. What is your ultimate goal in home-brewing beer?

After nearly a year and half (and a sizeable chunk of change later), I have fallen in love with the duality of creating a quality beer. It takes a dedication to both out-of-the-box thinking and the science it requires to back the creativity up. It’s tradition, art, history, creativity, love and passion, and someday I would love to be a part of that tradition on a professional level.

10. If you could be any beer, which one would you be?

As a major hop-head, I would undoubtedly be a West Coast style India Pale Ale. Some might find me to be a little bitter, but once you really get to know me, I’m chock-full of flavor.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less