At this year’s Pride Parade there was a familiar face marching with our Scholarship Fund contingent and sporting a rainbow flag cape. Greg Phelps’s smile and easygoing demeanor may not be the things that would make you immediately think “superhero,” but if you read the definition as one who “is a type of heroic character often possessing extraordinary talents, and is dedicated to a moral goal,” he certainly fits the description.
Greg grew up in Pullman, where he keenly felt the constraints of living in a small town and yearned to expand his horizons. He and his parents did not always see eye to eye, and after many personal and familial struggles, he decided to study computer science at Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he was a strong student.
Greg also wanted to make movies and perform improv comedy, so he joined the school’s nationally recognized improv group, the Dead Parrots Society. He began performing regularly in front of large audiences across the Northwest, including at the Chicago Improv Festival.
A four-time recipient of a GSBA scholarship, Greg completed his studies in business administration with a concentration in management information systems in 2014 and moved to Seattle. He currently works at Tableau Software as a service operations center analyst.
His dream to use his unique combination of skills—working in the tech industry by day and doing comedy by night, all while promoting LGBTQ equality—is becoming a reality with his work at Tableau and as an ensemble member with Jet City Improv. Throughout his work and personal life, sharing his experiences and perspective through comedy and art, Greg shows courage in his convictions and dedication to helping others understand that sexuality doesn’t define character.
During his four years as a GSBA scholar, Greg made it a point to attend GSBA functions whenever possible, including regularly volunteering at events. His commitment to give back to the community was apparent when he was asked to be the featured scholar speaker at the 2015 TASTE of GSBA. He revealed that he had been working on a speech for two years, prior to ever having been asked.
Asked why he wanted to share his story at TASTE, Greg responded, “I want to let people know how much it meant to me to receive a GSBA scholarship. Growing up LGBT is better now than ever, but still hard. I want people to know that they are doing important work cultivating our community and investing in future leaders.”