“Stepping Up” — Michael Brenner

This blog is the first in a series about the recipients of the “Stepping Up” Recognition Award recipients.

Aside from Michael Brenner, the other recipients are Heather Hamilton, Ben Masters, Jay Hawj, and Mya Dale.


Michael Brenner, 18, was born June 13, 1993, in Kodiak.

Michael has been attracted to guys his entire life. He came out to friends and family at the beginning of his sophomore year at Dimond High School. At the time, Michael remembers being the only openly gay guy at his school.

He felt a complete lack of respect for the GLBT community from his peers, as jokes, derogatory terms and teasing was common.

Eventually, Michael stepped up and became the president of the GSA and helped to organize a “Think Before You Speak” campaign. The campaign, and other actions he helped to lead, created a more accepting atmosphere at school.

Michael has always tried to work hard and set an example for his peers.

He would like to continue to Step Up, Step Out as a member of The Family, the GLBTQA club at UAA, and work more with Identity, Inc.

“I’m gay and proud of it!”


Michael was an easy choice for the committee. As a president of a local GSA chapter, he has proved his willingness to Step Up. He is also interested in getting involved with AMP, and Identity, Inc. as a possible University Representative.

We all look forward to seeing Michael continue Stepping Up in our community

Congratulations Michael!


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