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And that meant, once again, seeking refuge in music. “Music was his salvation,” says Dave Landers, Mitchell’s guidance counselor at St. Mike’s and a person Mitchell describes as a father figure. “He used music, whether performing or listening to it, to soothe a very difficult time for him.” Mitchell parlayed a radio deejay gig at the St. Michael’s studentrun station into providing the beats for school dances. That in turn led to offers from clubs in

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Outside the Box « p.37 “I was expected to be the authority on blackness,” he says. “The problem was, before that I had never really been allowed to be black. So, I was not a good spokesperson.” Mitchell struggled with outside expectations, both from white students who thought he was too black and African American students who thought he wasn’t black enough. All the while, he was trying to come to grips with his burgeoning sexual identity — still a secret to all but a few close friends. In his darkest, most confused moment, Mitchell attempted suicide. “It seemed like the easiest thing to do. I didn’t want to be hated anymore,” he says. “But it was a cop out.” Obviously, his attempt failed, but the desperate act seems to have been a turning point. “I didn’t want to live my life in a box, so I decided to lose the labels,” Mitchell says. “There are white people that suck. There are black people that suck. There are gay people and straight people that suck. I said, Fuck it. I just want to be Craig.”

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downtown Burlington, and eventually to 135 Pearl, now defunct but then the city’s only explicitly LGBTQ-friendly nightclub. Mitchell pitched the club on an allages night aimed at college students, oUTsidE ThE box

» p.40

Seven Days, December 1, 2010  

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Seven Days, December 1, 2010  

Vermont’s Dance Scene Takes a Big Leap; DJ Craig Celebrates 20 Years; Hipsters Congregate in New Church; Wylie Garcia Addresses…the Dress

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