“Reflections” is a new series written by junior Maddie Danzberger on the high school experiences of adults within and outside of the Minnehaha community. The series will share lessons learned and provide insights to students as they move through high school. This installation describes the story of Mickey Boardman, who is currently the Editorial Director of PAPER Magazine.
Moving from a small suburb in Illinois and working his way to being Editorial Director of the award-winning PAPER Magazine, it is safe to say that Mickey Boardman is living the life he has always dreamed.
“I never really had a dream job, but I did visualize a lifestyle I aspired to,” said Boardman. “ It involved lots of travel and interesting people and fashion and show business. It’s funny because no one I knew had a life like that,”
When asked about if there is anyone he regrets being friends with, he responded with not only an answer but timeless wisdom.
“Being gay, I was mostly friends with girls, but my brother was a year older and was a very popular jock so because of that I was friends with a lot of football players when I probably wouldn’t have been otherwise. That was great because it showed me that all of us have pressures and insecurities regardless of how “popular” we are. You think that if someone is the quarterback or homecoming queen, they must have everything so easy, but really, high school can be a tough, pressure-filled time for everyone.”
Boardman says the worst advice he received when he was in school was something that many students are told quite often, put simply: “[A lot of people told me that ] these are the best years of your life….It’s cliche but I wish I knew then what I know now. As a teen I was convinced that my life was ruined for two reasons: I was gay, and I was overweight. The irony is I wasn’t even really overweight. I just thought I was…there were [also] no Gay-Straight alliances and no positive role models for LGBT kids. I felt like I could never have a happy let alone fabulous life for these two reasons…as I got older, I realized that nobody really cared [about those things]…I was the only person holding me back from whatever kind of life I wanted. Realizing that changed everything.”