Five questions with Garrett Weiss
Garrett Weiss is a Realtor with Virginia Cook Realtors and an associate member of the DFW Federal Club. He volunteers with the Federal Club by recruiting new members, helping stage events and promoting the Human Rights Campaign. Associate membership is for those under age 30, and the next event for associates is a party set for April 28 at a private residence. Call 214-228-7301 for information.
How did you get into real estate?
I am 22, and I have been in real estate for about a year-and-a-half. I attended Austin College in Sherman and planned on going to medical school. But when I came out to my parents in the summer of 2003, everything I had planned on was stopped dead in its tracks. They wouldn’t pay for school anymore. But I had already decided I wanted to go into real estate or sales of some kind before that. So I went to real estate school, took my exam and got my license.
Were you surprised at your parents’ reaction when you came out?
I had always had a really close relationship with my family, so yes, their reaction was a real shock. One reason I came out is because we were so close and I couldn’t stand having to lie to them about such a big part of my life. Then when I did come out, I realized the relationship was not as strong as I had thought.
Has your relationship with your parents improved since then?
For about a year it was really not very good at all. It has improved very slowly since then, but it’s still not where it should be.
Why did you get involved in the DFW Federal Club?
Susan Melnick is on my team at Virginia Cook, and she recruited me. She invited me to a mixer. For me, it is about making connections, having a chance to get to know people I wouldn’t get to know going to the bars or strolling down Cedar Springs for lunch. It’s a chance to learn about other people’s issues and hear their stories. It is affirming in a lot of different ways.
What do you think you bring to the Federal Club?
Because my own journey in coming out was so difficult, I feel like I can offer counsel to someone else who may be having a hard time. I can be a shoulder to cry on for someone who is going through what I went through and can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have been able to be there for people who needed someone to talk to and connect with.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Tammye Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 21, 2006.