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Jason Samuel Harrison was born and raised in Westchester, New York, one of five children of a high school gym teacher, and a stay-at-home mother. His parents met when his mother, Andrea, was part of a college missionary team in New York City, and his dad, Stephen, was in summer classes at NYU and helped to host the missionary team. When his mother went back home to Northeast Georgia, where she was from, the two of them kept in touch, united through their religion and the chemistry that immediately sprung up between them. Stephen came down South to visit her as often as he could, and after a couple of years of courtship, he asked her father's permission to marry her.
The pair were married in a very religious ceremony, and after honeymooning in the mountains of North Carolina, they made the move back to New York where they set up a home together. The pair went on to have five children together, and Jason is the fourth born of the family (after his sister, Liz) with and older brother, two older sisters, and one younger brother. They were all raised with the very strict religious ideals of their parents, and grew up in church every time the doors were open. There were very strict rules that they had to follow, and two of Jason's older siblings were married in their early twenties and had sex for the first time on their wedding night.
Jason was the slight anomaly in the family. He was the only one who had ambitions to go to Med School, and because of this, his parents wanted to nurture him with the best high school education he could get to increase his chances of making it into a great Medical School once he graduated. Jason was content with this plan, and even though he missed his family, he never really found that he was one to get homesick. Not long into his freshman year in high school, he struck up a really close friendship with fellow freshman, Isaac Tynan, who was also at the Minnesota co-ed boarding school from New York and came out as gay that year. Although Jason was raised devoutly Christian, this didn't bother him like he realised it probably should. Did all Christians have to opposed homosexuality, or was that just something he had been raised to believe?
As their friendship strengthened, in a completely unexpected turn of events, Jason began to realise he and Isaac were having feelings for each other, and in that he began to question his own sexuality. He knew that if he had been back home with his family, this would be strictly frowned upon... he may even run the risk of being disowned, knowing how religious his family were. However, he was so far away from home, he figured what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. They started to date, and Jason accepted the fact he was attracted to males. He wasn't sure if he was quite ready to identify as gay and "come out", but it was only how he felt about Isaac that mattered, not a male population in general.
They fell in love and were every bit the stereotypical high school sweethearts, except the fact that Jason's family only knew Isaac as his best friend, and later roommate when they were able to choose rooms, and decided to room together. Isaac never pushed him to come out, instead assuring him that it would remain something between them and those who would support them. Because of this, Jason did spend a lot of time with Isaac's family over the years, considering it wasn't that far between their respective homes. Isaac's family adored Jason and everything pretty well stayed strong between them throughout high school.
So strong, in fact, that, when gay marriage was legalized in Minnesota, the boys decided that they would be married as soon as they were both 18 and the law came into play. The legalization was completed on August 1, and they planned to be married that day. Isaac talked about it extensively with his brother and sister and his dad and stepmom, all of whom wanted him to wait a while. In his young, loved up mind he had no idea what he was getting himself into. It was romantic and exciting to live in a changing world where gay people could marry the ones they loved, and to do so with his own boyfriend whom he adored. Jason, on the other hand, was a little more reserved about the idea of it, but warmed to it eventually. Only because he had that niggle in his gut about telling his family anything, and in the end, he decided not to tell them anything. He didn't tell them he was gay, and didn't tell them he was going to get married, let alone to a man.
So against Isaac's family's wishes, but not without their support, and with Jason's family entirely in the dark about everything and thinking their son was just being a good, head-down-ass-up student aiming for Med School, they got married only weeks after turning 18. It wasn't a very expensive or extravagant wedding, but for Isaac, it was a fairy tale and a dream come true. He got to legally marry the guy he'd long since decided was the love of his life. Jason went along for the ride, but it was his prior reservations that meant he came to really struggle with the decision they made, and soon began to feel like it was too soon and they were too young. But, with how he had been raised, was determined to honour the sanctity of marriage because divorce was also frowned upon and he didn't want to completely fail the beliefs he had been raised with.
They moved into a tiny apartment together, excited to start their new life with college the next school year, and summer jobs in between that managed to keep their heads above water in the tiny place where they were living. But that, sadly, was where the honeymoon ended. Only a few weeks into things, they were already beginning to fight, struggling to make their marriage work. They had been so caught up in the excitement and romanticism of a wedding, and getting married, that they'd missed the whole part where getting married was followed by being married, which was decidedly more difficult. Only months into their marriage, things had entirely broken down, and instead of going for the second semester of school close to his husband, Isaac made the choice to go away to school, to Oregon State, which had been his second choice.
Jason stayed in Minnesota and began Med School, but the stress of the break down of the marriage and the entire collapse of his friendship was too much. He ended up quitting Med School and instead went on to qualify as a Phlebotomist so he could at least work within the medical environment. He needed more time to re-find his way in life because he was left not knowing who he was, what he was supposed to be doing, or even want he wanted anymore. Fortunately, he enjoyed the Phlebomoty course, but that was when the homesickness started to really kick in and he no longer wanted to be miles and miles away from his home. He didn't want to be alone, and he didn't want to be without any support while he tried to discover who he was again. Because he was questioning everything about him, he found himself commencing a relationship with a girl in his class. She was sweet, kind, and had strong religious beliefs herself. Jason convinced himself that because the relationship with Isaac had broken down irretrievably and they got it so wrong, what if he had gotten his confusion about his sexuality wrong too?
The relationship with his girlfriend didn't last very long. A few months, at best. During that time, she accidentally fell pregnant with birth control failure and because she didn't believe in abortion, Jason was poised to try to get a divorce so he could marry her and do the right thing by her and the baby. But it wasn't meant to be, and she lost the baby before the process was set in motion. After that, they sat down and talked things out and she told him that at times, it felt like he didn't know how to love her. He admitted to her that it was probably because he wasn't sure who he was anymore, and he probably needed to figure that out. He was crushed about losing the baby, and it hit him quite hard. So hard, in fact, that he decided to move home to New York. He applied for a couple of jobs and was offered a position at Mount Sinai and they wanted him to start ASAP because they had lost a staff member to a sudden illness.
He moved back to New York, but in the City this time. In recent months, his family had been shaken up completely. First with news that Liz hadn't only accidentally fallen pregnant but when she found out she was, she was nearly to full term. She now had a new baby boy, Blake, Jason's nephew, and Jason wanted to be part of his life. Then there was news that Lewis Sheldon, Liz's childhood best friend, had been kidnapped and nearly murdered, seriously hurt in the process. But as the grapevine flamed about Liz and Lewis, what was exposed that Lewis was homosexual, and as a result of the tragic event, his own previously strictly religious parents had reached out to him and accepted his sexuality. It most certainly got Jason thinking... so much so that he knew it was time to come clean to his sister about everything.
But only after he had found an attorney, Mark Campbell, to file for divorce from Isaac. He's come to the place in his life where he's ready to evolve and he needs a clean slate to know what move to make next.