Alex grew in a very conservative religious home in the Midwestern U.S., in a family which adhered to strictly traditional gender roles. But even as a young boy, Alex began to realize he was more enamored with men than women; he found himself interested, even if not sexually to his friends’ fathers. As a preteen, however, he was incestuously raped by a male cousin. Upon graduating high school, he started traveling the world and learning about himself, but nobody in his hometown would accept his orientation. And so he would search for acceptance in relationships that often were unhealthy.