Who is Braynon Gay?


Braynon in St. Thomas

By Lila Esquivel, Staff Writer

   Braynon Gay is a junior at Miami High. She’s an African American who has dealt with bullying. She is an outspoken, humorous and loving girl. She lives a busy life with her social life, extra curriculars, academics, and family.  

   This school year she has been getting into school activities and preparing herself for the future. “Senior year is my last chance so why not toss myself into activities the same way I toss a flag,” she said.  

School Life 

    Junior year has been decent for Braynon Gay. She feels like she worked harder last year than she did this year, but as before she feels burned out. School has been stressful and mentally exhausting, but she has made memories that she can cherish.  “This year I’ve gotten more involved in school activities like joining Color Guard and planning to become an Anime Nation officer (Vice President),” she said. 

   Before Covid she didn’t find people to be friends with, but when she joined Anime Nation, she found people who didn’t judge. She has senior friends who will be leaving soon since they’re graduating and that’s almost a large number of the members.  

   “As an officer in the upcoming year my hope is for the club to gain more recognition and members in the absence of those who are leaving this year. This club holds a special place in my heart and gives me a place to belong when I didn’t feel like I did. I want other people who struggle finding friends to have that experience,” she said. She feels nervous about becoming an officer because it’s a responsibility, but she plans to put in hard work and is looking forward to making it a better club and making people more involved.  

   As for Color Guard she just recently got in. “The practices are hard work in the beaming sun,” she said. Due to the practices, she’s gotten an injury (a carpal syndrome in her wrist). But she makes sure to take care of herself after practices.  

   Braynon is optimistic about senior year, looking forward to Grad Bash, prom, and trips. As a 7th grader she fantasized what prom was going to be like, what she was going to wear, and who would be her date. She’s excited about the doors opening for her and being an adult when leaving high school.  

Future Life 

     She plans to achieve her dreams for the future as a young woman. Braynon has already been looking at many universities she wants to attend such as Savannah College of Art and Design, Howard, Morgan State, Spelman, and FAMU. She plans to leave Florida for college.  She’s worried about expenses and handling life on her own yet excited for her independence. She’s looking to major in interior design, media studies, or communications.  

Hobbies/Life out of schools 

     She got her first job in the Azucar ice cream store in Calle 8. She can pick her hours, but it’s a busy lifestyle. She says, “If I didn’t have a job where I could choose hours, I wouldn’t be able to maintain balance with my own time plus school.”  

   One of her hobbies is drawing. She likes to do sketches, and she would like to get into animation in the future. “When it comes to drawing my friends are my inspiration,” she said. Playing video games is also a hobby, specifically Minecraft, which she grew up playing as well as other games. “Minecraft has always sparked my creativity and tended to my artistic mindset. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve taken interest in interior design,” she said. 

   In middle school she attended Miami Arts Charter where she was part of the dance department for 3 years. She has been dancing since she was 4 years old. “It gets tiring and it’s a lot of work, but I enjoy the freedom of expression it gives me,” she said.  

    She is an officer for the Ivy Rosettes, an organization for young black girls, where she’s responsible for prayers and opening the meetings, and responsible for counseling the girls from the program.  

   In her elementary years she dealt with bullying for her last name. When she was going through the bullying, her mom told her to ignore the comments and say “Gay” means happy instead of associating with the LGBT community, which at times has been associated with a negative connotation. “Luckily as time has gone on the word ‘Gay’ in general is being seen less in a negative light and being normalized,” said Braynon. 

   She has faced dark days where she struggles with burnouts and feelings of sadness, but she is working on overcoming that. “Anxiety and ADD is something that you must work through as they tend to come hand in hand. But since my diagnosis in the 6th grade, I’ve been slowly learning to cope with these issues,” she said. Medications have helped but the side effects are not also a concern.  

Posing in her backyard.