Josie (she/her/hers or they/them/theirs) 10/15/2017:
Josie grew up in central Michigan, after finishing high school she attended university where she graduated with a degree from the school of Community and Public Services. After a life of questioning her gender identity she began to do some digging. After a few quick phone calls to the Out Boulder County office she learned that the trans community in Boulder was the place that she wanted to pursue her transition. In the summer of 2016 she packed up her car and drove across the country to Colorado. When she first got to Boulder she didn't know a single person, didn't have any job prospects, and was beginning to explore what gender meant to her. It was only a week after arriving that she attended her first Boulder County Gender Support group at the Pride house. Attending the group meeting regularly she began to feel confident with her decision to move and felt at home when surrounded by a community of people that shared her experiences. Since then she has taken on a role a front office and event volunteer, BCGS group facilitator, and began to work with other queer non-profits in Boulder County.
"The reason I love to volunteer so much is because I get to see the work that the staff does and how it directly effects my community. Being able to help create spaces that queer identifying people feel safe has become a passion of mine. When I first arrived to Boulder I didn't know what my future held, and I had no idea I would be where I am today. But through the work that the staff at OBC does I began to feel welcomed, through their events, support groups, and the time I spend volunteering. My favorite day with OBC was slinging drinks at Boulder Pride Fest; I was able to see so many smiling faces that were all part of my community. I am so lucky to be able to work with so many other amazing volunteers and to have made some incredible friends. My only wish is that they would hire me so I would be able to do more. That is why I have decided to take on the role of intern with OBC, I simply can't get enough."
Crissy (she/her/hers) 11/1/2017:
Crissy grew up in Cascade, CO and came back to Colorado to study acupuncture. She studied at Southwest Acupuncture College to receive her Masters Degree in Acupuncture in 2016. During her studies in Boulder County she soon found the amazing support of Out Boulder County and their weekly gender support meetings.
Crissy soon recognized the strength of Out Boulder County in the community and she became a volunteer last winter in Longmont. Crissy teaches classical ballet at Longmont Dance Theatre and sits on the board of Centennial State Ballet. On top of being an active participate to the ballet community; Crissy is owner and operator of Colorado Art of Acupuncture LLC, which has locations in Denver and Longmont. Crissy is active in the transgender community, volunteering her time with Out Boulder County. Crissy identifies as she, her, hers, and Miss.
Christine (she/her/hers) 11/8/2017:
Christine has lived most of her life in Colorado except for 10 years, when her husband was employed in Seguin, TX. She is a mother of 3 beautiful daughters, two of whom are transgender. Christine has been married for 26 years and counting!
Christine started volunteering for Out Boulder County when they opened their Longmont office. She started volunteering because her middle daughter was very involved with the groups sponsored by OBC. She was very grateful for the work OBC was doing, the happiness she was seeing in her daughter, and she wanted to give back to the organization. Christine started volunteering one day a week working in the Longmont front office. In April, when the organization was looking for a Volunteer Coordinator, Christine accepted the position. She has helped the staff coordinate volunteers for both Longmont and Boulder Pride.
Christine has enjoyed getting to know the fantastic and diverse community members. Working for Out Boulder County has helped her expand her understanding of the LGBTQ community. Out Boulder County has truly enriched her life and she loves being the Volunteer Coordinator.
Alejandro Rodriguez (he/him/his) 11/15/2017:
In December 2016, Alejandro Rodriguez walked into the Out Boulder County's Longmont office and offered to be of service. The day we met, he was an undocumented Latino gay man who had just moved to the city, and he "wanted to be useful in his new hometown". He shared his remarkable story of moving to Dallas at 19 to join his mother, how he spoke no English, waited tables, earned a degree from University of North Texas, and then moved to Longmont after graduation to start his own company. He shared his plans for his food truck and his dream to become a legal permanent resident.
In the year since, Alejandro has become a beloved citizen of our community, generously offered his time, personal story and hospitality to everyone he has encountered. When we first met, I asked how we could support his path to legalization and offered to connect him to someone in a similar situation. He is now taking on that role as a mentor and educator for our community. Today, I asked him with all he has given of himself to our organization, what have we had to offer him. What he most appreciated was having a safe place to show up as his whole self and have someone willing to listen. He recalled that during his volunteer training the biggest focus was on learning to be present for the people who walk into our office and that was the gift that he had received.
Ella (she/her/hers) 11/29/2017:
Ella grew up here in Boulder, enjoying the outdoors, cycling, art, and working on projects. After graduating from Tara Performing Arts High School, she decided to take one gap year, which then turned into two, and then three, and then four. She's worked in several industries in the past few years, including residential electrical, theater and stage tech, and recruiting. She's currently working in an IT position at an ad tech company and doing freelance videography on the side. Her dream is to move out to LA to pursue filming large-budget movies and playing music with as many awesome musicians as possible.
Ella realized that she was trans in the summer of 2017. Suddenly so many things started to make sense to her about her life, and so she jumped onto the trans bandwagon without hesitation. She's been attending Out Boulder County's Trans and Genderqueer Support group since the beginning of July, and is incredibly grateful for the support and community she's been welcomed into. Ella enjoys being able to help out where she can by taking photos and doing graphic design work for OBC.
Cardi (she/her/hers) 1/3/2018:
Cardi, a queer, cisgender woman, was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in mathematics and religious studies. Cardi moved to Boulder with the intention to teach math. In January 2017, she attended an Out Boulder County volunteer training and it changed her life. It was through volunteering for OBC that Cardi found her passion; working with LGBTQ+ youth and supporting her community.
Over the span of six months Cardi has donated 144 hours of her time to support OBC and OBC Youth programming. Cardi enjoys spending Tuesday and Thursday evenings co-facilitating Queer and Trans youth groups in Boulder and Longmont. She also supports Queer Creative on the second Tuesday of the month for their Young Adult Cooking Class. From start to finish, Cardi volunteered in the youth and family section of both Longmont Pride and Boulder's Pridefest. Cardi is excited to continue her work supporting queer and trans youth and cannot wait to see what is in store for 2018!
Nate (he/him/his) 1/24/2018:
Nate has been volunteering with Out Boulder County since October of 2014, serving in various roles from Volunteer Coordinator to cleaning the Boulder Pridehouse weekly. He came to Out Boulder County after being introduced to the organization when they helped organize marriages at the County Clerks building in Boulder after Hillary Hall bravely began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. He lives in Boulder with his husband Mark and enjoys crafting, sewing and snuggling his three dogs, Potter, Korra, and Azula.
Melissa (she/her/hers) (1/31/2018)
I was born in Kremmling, Colorado and soon moved to Fort Collins where I grew up. I came out to my family in high school and it was not well received. Because of my experiences I have always been drawn towards helping LBGTQ youth. I started my volunteer journey leading a group in high school called POPS. As I became older I was really drawn to work with the HIV community. I was brought to OBC by the recommendation of a friend. I am currently 7 months pregnant as a surrogate for an amazing gay couple in Austin, Texas. I gave birth to their daughter in May of 2016 and their son is due in April 2018. I decided to step away from my office accounting job and volunteer more in the community while pregnant. I just recently started my volunteer experience with OBC in December of 2017, but excited to see where I can be of more service with OBC in the future. This is a great organization and I am grateful to be a part of it.
Beck Boone (they/them/theirs) (2/7/2018)
Beck Boone is a software engineer with a focus on civic technology and non-profits. Influenced by their experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, the idea that everyone should have access to information and decisions is central to their being.
Beck spent two years working for Code for America in the cities of Denver & Boulder. They currently work as a technologist for hire in Boulder, CO but primarily work on themself every day. They really appreciate the effort Out Boulder County puts into the community and tries to support them once a week through volunteering.
Cameron (they/them/theirs) (3/1/2018)
Cameron (left) grew up in Davis, California and moved to Colorado in 2011 to attend college. They are currently living in CU Boulder's sober living community and finishing their undergraduate Psychology degree. In August 2017, before transferring to CU Boulder and in the process of discovering they were trans, Cameron started a queer student alliance, Queers United In Pride, at Front Range Community College's Boulder County campus. The wonderful people Cameron met in QUIP helped introduce them to the many resources that Out Boulder County provides and Cameron began to attend OBC's weekly Trans and Genderqueer Support Group and volunteer through their Speaking Out program.
Cameron also volunteers with the education team and works as an on-call advocate at the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, which has remained an incredibly safe and nurturing environment for them in their process of self-discovery. Cameron feels endlessly grateful for all the ways in which Out Boulder works to create safe and validating spaces for queer youth and adults.
Jasmine (she/her/hers) (3/8/2018)
Jasmine grew up in Houston, TX and received her bachelor's in sociology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. She moved to Boulder in the summer of 2016 to start a PhD program in sociology at CU and Out Boulder County was the first organization she found when she got here. She was relieved by the kindness and hospitality she experienced from support and social groups offered at the Pride House. After a rough first year in a new city, she's beginning to acclimate and integrate herself into the queer community through involvement with events hosted by great organizations like Out Boulder County and Queer Asterisk. Her sweet kitty, Petra, is helping her feel more at home too!
Jasmine enjoys helping out when she can by volunteering for whatever pops up that doesn't conflict with her work and teaching schedule and speaking on Speaking Out panels. She firmly believes that queer and trans youth are the future. Deeply grateful for the support she has received from members of the community, she seeks to help others feel welcomed and supported as well.
Maya (she/her/hers) (3/29/18)
Maya grew up in Woodbridge, VA, where she earned her bachelors degrees in psychology from James Madison University and nursing from George Mason University. She moved to Colorado in the summer of 2016 to be closer to her family. After coming out to her family and starting her transition, she joined Out boulder County in 2017 as a volunteer for Boulder Pride and a Front Desk Volunteer. She is extremely grateful for the generous support and acceptance from the Pridehouse staff and the whole Colorado LGBTQ community. Maya wants to help support and inspire others in the LGBTQ community to live authentically and chase their dreams. In her practice as a registered nurse, Maya hopes to help provide affirmative and inclusive care to all her patients.
Timmy (no pronouns) (4/19/18)
Timmy Basista is from North Carolina and moved to Colorado in 2017 interested in pursuing a graduate chemistry degree at CU. In college, Timmy led an LGBTQ+ student group and worked hard with the administration and other student groups to promote inclusivity across intersectionalities in regards to race, ethnicity, transgender individuals, and religion.
As soon as I arrived here, I went to Out Boulder to begin grounding myself in the LGBTQ+ community to see what needs there may be that I can fulfill and how I can best be of service. It's important to me that individuals within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, especially those with other minority statuses, have a voice. The more disenfranchised one is, the more passionate I am to finding ways to restore a sense of personhood. Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone deserves to be treated like a human with their own struggles, challenges, passions, and desires.
I want to promote a positive, individual-oriented mindset where even if I am unable to do much, I can at least direct someone to the type of resources that can enable them to recover or discover their own voice. I love Out Boulder County because every individual who works there is so unapologetically and stridently working to make everyone as welcome and encouraged as they possibly can. That is an organization and group of people that I am willing to put my full efforts behind.
Clela Rorex (she/her/hers) (5/24/18)
Most of you know my story of how I became an ally. If you don't, google my name and you will learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Boulder County same-gender marriage licenses of March/April 1975. I was only 31 at the time, and it took me another 30 years before I even knew that I could call myself an LGBTQ 'ally'. Then it took many years more to learn how to be a 'good ally'! I try hard to keep my mind and my heart open to learning something new every day.
On Friday, May 18th, Dave Ensign, Mardi Moore and I went to Denver to appear before the Colorado History Review Board where they were considering an amendment to the Historic Designation of the Boulder County Courthouse. On this little trip to Denver, Mardi informed me that the Community is now trying to use the phrase "Ally to Accomplice". I've been thinking about this for days now and wondering, sincerely, how one moves to the 'accomplice' phase? Am I doing enough? Have I lethargically settled into just being content with being called an ally? After all, I can no longer march or participate in many activities. I am a weekly volunteer at the Longmont office, but so many of you spend countless hours in active support of Out Boulder County. Is speaking up for LGBTQ equality at every opportunity enough? Not now - not today - where equality gains are being rolled back at an alarming rate by our current administration. I am no longer a student -- but many of you are and can make a difference in your school. I am no longer employed -- but many of you are and can push through company policies that guard equal treatment. Many of you are participating in local political campaigns and have been to countless demonstrations and offer your time on an almost daily basis. And many, many of you are members of the LGBTQ Community where you shore up others every single day. You are definitely "accomplices".Now, more than ever, we must all stay the course. Now, more than ever, we must show up and never, ever stay quietly on the sidelines.