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ABC News Highlights Gay Marine's Journey From Homelessness To The Ivy League

We're so intrigued and inspired by U.S. Marine Elegance Bratton's story! 

Bratton grew up in New Jersey and was ultimately forced out of his home for being gay. He lived as a homeless youth for ten years in New York City before ultimately joining the Marines and later attending Columbia University.  

While in the Marines he was trained as a videographer and editor and now has made his first documentary Pier Kids: The Life to Shed Light on black homeless LGBT youth. 

ABC News writes:

Bratton decided to make the film, “Pier Kids: The Life to Shed Light” on black LGBT homeless youth along with Producer Nathan Proctor.

“Elegance embodies the core values of a liberal education.  The documentary is even more powerful because, as a homeless gay youth of color, he experienced what the pier kids, who have been invisible and forgotten for years, still experience today,”  said School of General Studies Dean Peter J. Awn, professor of Islam.  “I know, since I lived in the neighborhood for two decades in the 80′s and 90′s and, like everyone else, saw them as interlopers who didn’t ‘fit’ into the West Village.  This documentary is long overdue.”

The film follows the stories of three young people: DeSean, Krystal, and Casper. Together, these three people weave a surprisingly complex story of love, family, exploitation, beauty, and hope according to the film’s website.

“The film is born out of my experience living home, being homeless and ending up at Columbia University,” says Bratton.

Check out this segment on Bratton from ABC News:

Head over to ABC News for more of Elegance's story!