Student Profile: Brandon Gorham

Young Kevin Xia

Young Kevin Xia

Tara Makhmali

BY TARA MAKHMALI Contributing Writer

If it takes a village to raise a child, Brandon Gorham raises that village. And that’s not an exaggeration.

Like many UMB students, Brandon works forty to sixty hours a week and still makes it to class smiling, laughing, and ready to get his groove on. But Brandon doesn’t just work to get by: he works to help others get by, too. Whether he is setting up for an event, engaging students in interesting conversation, or simply lending a helping hand, Brandon’s work is for the community.

As a UMB student, Brandon recognizes the importance of putting himself out there as a resource and motivator for others. “I work hard to maintain the school. I think it’s important to maintain its urban identity,” Brandon said with pride. “It’s difficult to have to work two or three jobs and go to school. But with a little help, we can do it.”

On campus, Brandon acts as the coordinator for the Queer Student Center. On any given day, students gather around the Center, waiting to hear Brandon’s witty, humorous, and inspiring tongue. Perhaps he uses his audiences as practice for his future career in academia. He may not be a professor yet, but he’ll be one soon enough. And if you make it into his classroom, consider yourself enlightened. He’s innovative, productive, and thoughtful.

As a school senator and member of the UMB Student Events Committee, Brandon’s fast-paced life can’t seem to get any faster, but it does. Off campus, Brandon runs from scoop to scoop, working as an ice cream server for JP Licks. “I like working for JP Licks,” Brandon said sheepishly. “They’re a good company.”

When asked how he likes to relax, Brandon pleasantly replied, “I don’t get a lot of unwind time. I’m doing what I do to unwind. I love the center. I love the school.”

So what doesn’t Brandon like to do? The answer: women. “I came out when I was 13,” shared Brandon. “And my mom was cool about it. She didn’t think I was old enough to make those decisions yet. She wanted me to be ready to live a hard life. But she always supported me. My grandma was funny. She was like ‘alright, but you’re still going to give me grandkids, right?'”

Brandon currently studies English and Women’s Studies at UMB. He relates his school interests to the strong female influences in his life. “My mom and grandma have had a major impact on my life,” Brandon reflected. “They’re such strong females. I think that’s why I study women’s issues: because of the strong women in my life. And because women’s issues aren’t just women’s issues: they’re all people’s issues. They’re community issues.”

Brandon visits his mom and grandma in New Hampshire as much as he can. He admits to loving his life in Somerville, though he loved the landscape of his hometown. “It was hard for me to come out of the country and into the city. It’s not that I left New Hampshire to get away from it. It just wasn’t for me. It didn’t have what I needed,” Brandon said thoughtfully.

Next year Brandon will be running for re-election as a student senator for UMB. If I could, I’d vote him into the Whitehouse.