Tell us about yourself outside of NEAT volunteering!
I am a wife, mother of 3 adults, grandmother and dog lover. I also volunteer at Planned Parenthood and the Montrose Center in Houston. I like to hang out with friends on weekends, do puzzles, make scrapbooks, and I just started to make bath bombs. I am obsessed with history and always look for places that have historical importance when I am traveling. I am planning on going back to college to get a Bachelor’s degree in either political science or humanities. Not sure yet, both are very appealing to me.
What's your connection to LGBTQ+ justice work?
I have always wanted to serve minorities, the oppressed, and the marginalized. I always felt marginalized as a child and developed the passion to help others in need of being treated equally.
“Marginalized as a child”? What do you mean?
I was mentally and physically abused by my parents, bullied in school, and generally made to feel small and worthless. It made me severely depressed. When I became an adult, I wanted to give back to those that felt they were sidelined because of stuff that they had no control over. Race, sexual orientation, gender identity, social class, it didn’t/doesn’t matter. That’s where one of my passions lie.
What are your volunteer roles at NEAT? What inspired you to get involved?
I am a phone banking volunteer at NEAT. I first got inspired by my Psychology Professor in College who came out to the class as a transgender man when we talked about gender identities. The story he told us touched my heart, and I decided that I wanted to help in any way I could.
Share a memory from volunteering that sticks out in your mind.
During one of the campaigns I talked to a lady who was the grandmother of a transgender child that she raised because the parents didn’t want to be part of the child’s life anymore. It was very touching to hear the story and what obstacles this grandmother was overcoming to help her grandchild. She was very grateful to be able to talk about it, and that organizations like NEAT exist to help and to advocate equality.
What would you say to anyone considering volunteering with NEAT?
Volunteering is a way for me to give back and make a difference in the life of others, not only mine. It is a perfect opportunity to grow and overcome my own struggles. I also meet people from all over the United States who have the same passion and help me be part of something greater than myself. It’s a good way to learn new skills that might be helpful later in life.