Phil: Hey, this is Phil aka Corinne.
Alex: And I’m Alex Berg. And you’re listening to…
Both: The I’m From Driftwood Podcast.
Phil: On this episode, we listen to two I’m From Driftwood stories recorded several years ago. They explore the complicated realm of LGBTQ+ adoption. First up, we hear from Andy, whose adoption process was nearly jeopardized by a homophobic nurse.
Andy: My partner and I decided that we wanted to be parents. So after a lot of planning, a lot of research and, frankly, just a lot of blind faith, we started on an adoption journey. We started working with an agency in Austin, Texas, where we live. And it actually happened really fast for us. We matched to our son’s birth mother within probably a month of being with the agency.
And it was a bit of a whirlwind. We got a call on a Monday and said that someone wanted to speak to us and she was going to call us on Tuesday. She happened to just live in San Antonio, right down the street from where we lived, and we talked to her on Tuesday and Wednesday, we made a plan to drive down to San Antonio to meet her for dinner and meet her and her family. It went very well.
By the time we got back to Austin, we were told that she had picked us and then on Thursday, we were invited to come back down because she was having a sonogram to figure out the sex… the sex of the child.
So we said, “Sure, yes, of course we’ll come down.” And we drove down to San Antonio, we… again, and we found out we were having a little boy. We also found out that she was very pregnant. And in fact, her doctor was saying they were going to perform a C-section on the following Thursday. So we had all of one week after finding out the sex of the child that we were going to be bringing a baby home.
The following Thursday drove down to San Antonio, checked into a hotel, went to the hospital. Our birth mother was wheeled into surgery. C-section was performed. Our beautiful son was born. We went into our… our birth mother’s room after she was wheeled out of, you know, surgery. She was recovering. When they brought our son in, it was amazing to get to hold him for the first time, to get to see her interact with him for the first time.
Well, we went out to eat. You know, just went to grab something out of the hospital, and went over to a mall – a local mall that was near the hospital. And the, the strange thing was there just was no cell service there, so we were completely isolated. We ate, we talked, just kind of decompressed a little bit.
When we got back in range of self-service, when we were walking back to the hotel, we – there were all these messages that popped up on our phone. And it was our son’s birth mother and she was crying and she said, “Where are you? I need to talk to you.” We rushed back to the hospital and she starts telling us that one of the nurses that was assigned to her to come in and check her… her sutures started asking her a lot of questions.
And starting with, “Aren’t you… aren’t you the girl that’s… that’s giving your baby up for adoption?” Which is a huge red flag for us. You know, we went through adoption class and anyone who uses that term, like “giving up a baby” is already coming to that conversation with some judgment.
She said, “Yeah, I’m having a baby and he’s going to be adopted.”
“And you’re giving him to those two boys?” She said yes.
And she said, “I don’t know how you’re going to do that. You know, aren’t you afraid he’s going to hate you for doing that?”
And she said, “Well, that’s really not any of your business.” And the nurse just kept going on and on asking questions about, Aren’t you afraid those boys are going to hurt that baby? Aren’t you afraid that he’s not going to grow up and be normal? And she got really upset and so she just kind of shut down.
We were… we were very scared that we were gonna…we were going to fail to place, which is a common adoption term when the birth mother chooses not to place a child for adoption. Fortunately, you know, the… everything else seemed to go okay. We did have a fairly smooth experience where our social worker came in and talked to our birth mother.
And she asked her many times, “Are you sure you want to do this? You can back out at any time.” You know, giving her plenty of opportunities to evaluate her situation and make sure that she was of a clear mind.
We were not allowed to be in the room during that process. We were downstairs in the lobby and talking about, you know, our hopes of what was going to happen, but trying to be very practical and steal ourselves for our social worker coming off the elevator and telling us she changed her mind.
So we were sitting down there with my mother and you know, being very calm, trying our best. And when our social worker came off the elevator and just kind of flashed us the [thumbs up]. I mean, all three of us just kind of broke down in tears at that point.
Phil: You know, whether we’re talking about same-sex parents, whether we’re talking about parents of opposite sex, first-time parents are first time parents. It doesn’t matter. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be ready – you know, you’re ready to bring this child back into your home. You’ve been really waiting for this for so long and then to have to deal with wondering, Is this person going to change their mind because somebody who has nothing to do with this entire situation comes in and says something? It turns everyone’s world upside down. The thing that
Alex: The thing that you said about them being first-time parents, it’s an incredibly stressful situation. And I can’t imagine – you have so much to worry about already in that moment. And then the birth mother is being accosted by a nurse who was being incredibly homophobic and inappropriate.
Alex: So it’s, like, also something that is supposed to be really joyful and exciting and a celebration, also just what an awful way to have that moment and what an awful – and it’s like also none of that nurse’s business.
Phil: Not at all. Not even a little bit, Not even a little bit. And you know, it’s just… I can’t imagine also what it must be like for someone who is deciding to give their child for adoption, that in itself is… there’s so much that goes along with that, right? That’s – the last thing she needed at that moment was to hear from somebody who was ignorant and very homophobic and saying really hurtful things that, you know, could really – just made the process being difficult as it is, even more difficult. It’s just terrible to hear about something like that.
Alex: Just another one of these examples of these moments when you can encounter, especially when you’re a visibly LGBTQ person or you’re in a situation where you’re in a couple, it’s like you can encounter these kinds of horrible attitudes at any moment when you least expect it, even in the most high-stakes scenario.
Phil: Next we hear from Fred, whose own adoption journey hits several devastating bumps along the way.
Fred: I can always remember when I first came out, having a conversation with my mom about, you know, just how she felt about everything. And one of the things that she said to me early on was that she lamented over the fact that I would never get married… or – and I would never have children. And, you know, in the late nineties, that was something that I think all of us believed.
Fast forward, you know, my husband, when he was my boyfriend, you know, we were dating in late 2000s, and in 2013 we got engaged. And then in 2014, marriage equality came and before you know it, we were legally married, which was awesome. Very exciting.
And at that time, we were already talking about the possibility of having children. And then in January of 2016, we started our adoption journey. We initially started with a counselor who specified in same sex adoptions. We thought it was kind of a very good non-committal way to start the process, kind of understand what we needed to do. But we found that with that counselor, there were very few cases that were coming in.
So around September of 2016, we decided to go with an agency. It was like 20 cases a month that we were able to experience. And some we could apply to, some we couldn’t, depending on the birth mother’s preferences. But by November, only a few months later, we were matched, which was super exciting.
So we were matched with what would be a baby girl to be born in April. You know, we thought that everything was definitely going to be going through, that she was on board 100%, and it turned out probably around March, right before really getting into the final weeks, come to find out that she was not on board, that we found an online registry. We found her social media had all this conversation about her baby, her baby, her baby, and sure enough she backed out. Which was hard.
Back in the pool we went and sure enough, a few months later in June, we were matched with another birth mother who was also expecting a baby girl, which was great because we already had almost everything that a baby girl could possibly need in… in the house, ready to go.
Her due date was early August. We were definitely interested in… in a shorter case because we figured we would know that the birth mother was serious at that point. She gave birth on August 9th, which also coincides with our anniversary of our first date. So every afternoon of our anniversary, at least for the past few years, we go to the same restaurant that we went to with our first date. And we sit there and have like a little conversation, have lunch together.
We finished that up and when I got back to the office, I got a phone call that said that she was in the hospital and she was delivering and I was like, Oh my God, it’s time to go. So my husband and I came home, got everything ready to go. And just as we were about to run out the door, the phone rings and they say, “She’s changed her life. Don’t come.”
And I think that time was probably the bigger hit for us. You know, it’s one thing to have a few weeks before you’re due to process that a little bit more appropriately, but… but that second one, it was like the rug was pulled out from under us. It was one of those things where, you know, you just go back to work and pretend that everything’s okay. And the few friends that you’ve told everything to are there to support you and everybody else, you just put your work face on.
Back in the pool we went. You know, you can’t stop. We were very steadfast and we definitely relied on each other. I mean, if there’s one thing that strengthens a marriage is going through some rough times and being there for each other and holding each other up. And that’s definitely what happened with us.
So that takes us to August. So by September, we got a phone call from one of the OBs that we knew. So one of the things that the consultant had told us early on was if you know, any OBs, tell them that you’re in the adoption process, that you’re looking to adopt, because this way, if they get any leads, they can call you.
So sure enough, one of our OBs called us and said, “Hey, we have a woman here who’s pregnant and she’s looking to put her child up for adoption. Would you guys be interested in talking to her?” We met with her, we hit it off and she wanted to go ahead and move forward.
At the time, she didn’t know the gender of the baby, but she had already started working with an adoption agency, so we got our two agencies to work together. And then we found out the gender probably like a week or two before Lincoln was born. And of course we knew it was going to be a boy because we had everything ready for a girl. She also invited us to be at the delivery, which was incredible.
So off to the hospital we went that morning, the day that she was due. And we actually – she actually was induced, so we were there with her throughout the entire process. She was in labor for about 12 hours and we were right there by her side. And when she delivered, Brian got to cut the cord and then they took us into a separate room and we got to hold Lincoln for the first time, which was incredible. And it’s been an incredible experience. Lincoln’s almost two now. And it’s everything that we thought it could be and more.
Phil: Yeah. I mean, this story was pretty intense because when you think about having, again, really all of these hopes and dreams pinned on one particular circumstance working out, and for it to happen twice, that was, I mean, I can’t imagine what that must feel like for them. You know, I can’t imagine.
Alex: It sounds so deeply upsetting, and it sounds like a roller coaster. And I think it just really speaks to the many barriers and speed bumps that LGBTQ+ people encounter when we are trying to build our families. You’re navigating all of these interpersonal issues that I think any couple would have to navigate when going through this process, but then also I feel like sometimes there is a lack of access or information or resources even to help navigate all of these. So I just thought that that story really spoke to those issues.
Phil: Yes. Agreed. And, you know, it seems like things are changing, but you know, when we think about the entire history of this happening, of same-sex people wanting to adopt, there has been a, you know, historically same-sex parents were not the ones that were chosen just because people were just not informed.
Alex: Yes. Well, listen, I am so excited to keep on talking about this topic and to dig even deeper with our guest today. He’s an American civil rights activist, and I can’t wait to talk to him about this topic and many more. So without further ado, please welcome to I’m From Driftwood, Jim Obergefell. Welcome!
Jim: Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here.
Phil: Hi, Jim. It’s so good to have you.
Jim: Thanks. I’m really looking forward to the conversation. And again, thanks for inviting me.
Alex: Your name is undoubtedly familiar to many of our listeners, but for those who need to jog their memory a little bit, can you talk a little bit about why they might recognize your name as one in the history books?
Jim: Oh, there was a… a minor Supreme court decision on June 26, 2015 that made marriage equality, the law of the land and that case, Obergefell V Hodges, is named after me because by late husband, John and I started a fight with the state of Ohio in the city of Cincinnati in 2013, shortly after we got married to demand that Ohio recognized our lawful Maryland marriage. And that took me all the way to the Supreme Court, along with more than 30 other plaintiffs in a consolidated case.
Phil: Incredible. Incredible. I mean, just an historical moment. I mean, I think we all remember it. I feel like I remember exactly where I was at the moment.
Alex: I remember exactly where I was. Yeah.
Phil: I don’t think any queer person could ever forget, right?
Jim: I hear those stories all the time and I love it. And I think one of my favorite, I heard this from multiple people, is they were in the office at work and something popped up on their phone. The alert that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. And didn’t matter if they were in the middle of a meeting or whatever, they just burst into tears after reading that and then stood up, walked out, and celebrated it the rest of the day. And so many people did that. I love that image of people just standing up and leaving their office on that day for the very best of reasons.
Alex: I feel like that story is me because I was literally sitting next to my work bestie, who is also LGBTQ. And when the decision came out, we literally stood up and we were like, “Yeah!”
Jim: After the Supreme Court and all of the, as you can imagine, interviews that I did, I went to the airport to fly from DC back to Cincinnati where I lived, to be in Cincinnati is pride parade the next day. Well, I got to the airport, Washington National Airport, and my flight was delayed, delayed, delayed. And eventually at 1:00 AM Saturday, it was canceled.
So while the nation is out there celebrating and gay bars across the country are running out of champagne, I spent the entire might of the airport.
Phil: It’s not right. It’s not right.
Alex: Okay. We need to call that airline and tell them that they really owe you for that one.
Phil: Exactly. I mean, they should at least got you a bottle of champagne. They really…
Jim: You’re right. They should have.
Phil: All right. Let’s not say which one it is because I’m going to stop flying with them. It’s just gonna be terrible.
So, you know, Jim you’re with the wonderful organization, Family Equality, now. Can you tell us a little bit about what they do?
Jim: Absolutely. In a nutshell, Family Equality is all about helping create legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families. And we do that in a lot of ways. You know, we are absolutely involved in legislative efforts, both at the state level and federal level. For example, we helped pass a law in New York, which actually made surrogacy possible and updated parental rights. And that just happened last year in 2020.
At the federal level, we’re very much involved in pushing, working to make the Every Child Deserves a Family Act law, and that… that act would eliminate discrimination in the child welfare system in our nation. It would do so many important things, but in a nutshell, that’s what it would do. It would say no more can you discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression in the child welfare system.
We’re also involved in helping push forward the Equality Act, which would update the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. So we do those things. We’re also out there advocating for those kids in the child welfare system who are LGBTQ+. You know, they’re… they’re in a system that unfortunately doesn’t always act in their best interests. So we’re… we’re doing that.
We also help parents and prospective parents. You know, people in our community who want to form or expand their family, we help… we help them do that through resources, through support groups, through all of these different things that we can help them with from our website and through the programs that we offer
Alex: Thanks to your Supreme court case, I was able to marry my wife two years ago. And when I talk about my decision to get married, I always think about that it’s really for protection in a way, and for safety and for security. For me, it wasn’t about having a giant wedding wearing a flowing white dress or anything like that. It was really about this idea of safety and protection and equality under the law.
And now I have so many friends who are thinking about how they want to build their families as well. So they’re really engaging in the legal system and with all of these policies themselves in a personal way. When you were pursuing your Supreme Court case, Obergefell v Hodges, did that… were you thinking about this issue at all then? How did that decision impact protections for LGBTQ families as it related to parenting and adoption?
Jim: You know, as the case got started, I wasn’t even thinking about marriage equality as a national right. Because you know, at that point, John, my late husband was dying of ALS. I was his full-time caregiver and my world was so focused on him. I was… I really couldn’t think beyond the room – the walls of his room. And we were fighting for our marriage to be respected and to be shown dignity by the government.
So once I started to realize, this was especially after John passed away, that this fight wasn’t just about us. You know, I knew that in the back of my mind, but as it started to grow and become bigger and bigger, I knew that our families were a vital part of this. And I knew that because a second case in Ohio was filed by six couples with children. And they had either adopted or given birth in Ohio and they were suing the state of Ohio to demand accurate birth certificates for their children.
So as the case grew, within a year of our case after their case – they won their case – I knew that families weren’t such a big part of this as well. And I also like to say, you know, John and I were fighting for our… for our marriage. We were fighting for our family and some of us, our families include children, some don’t. But it’s all family. So from the start I was fighting for family, we were fighting for family.
Now with that decision, there were definitely great things that happened for our ability to form and expand families because of Obergefell v Hodges. You know, in that decision itself, Justice Kennedy’s decision even said one of the most important things for marriage is protecting family and forming family. So even in that decision, families were mentioned. And the decision said, yes, our families deserve the same rights, responsibilities and protections as opposite sex-led families.
So, you know, right from the start making marriage available to everyone across the nation meant that now suddenly step-parent adoption could happen everywhere across the country. Because now these couples could get married. And that was one of the really good things that changed right from the start.
But I also think with marriage equality and how it impacts our families, in the five and a half years since the decision, there’ve been hundreds of thousands of same-sex marriages. And after the decision, when I spoke to the press I said, “I look forward to the day that it’s no longer same-sex marriage. It’s no longer gay marriage. It’s just marriage.” And it is becoming that.
I doubt that there are many people across the nation who don’t have a neighbor, a family member, a friend, a coworker, someone who has married someone of the same sex. Same sex marriage has become marriage. It’s become just part of our normal every day. And that also means our families are becoming much more part of every day. So outside of the legal protections and the ability to form our families that we gained, we’re also gaining that societal acceptance, the attitude change, which is what so many of us wanted.
Phil: I mean, that is incredible. I mean, I think that everyone here on this call, I think we can all think about wondering if we would ever see a day when it felt like that, right? When it… when it felt like it’s just marriage, right? And it’s incredible that we’re actually seeing that happen. And I think that speaks to how change happens in a sense, in a nutshell, right? It’s just… it’s this gradual thing that seems to happen. And it… it moves at a snail’s pace at times. And then, you know, one… one day you look up and it’s like, Wow, we actually shifted the landscape here. And it’s, it’s incredible.
If someone out there was thinking about starting a family, are there any specific pitfalls they should look out for?
Jim: Well, you know, I like to think of this as far as not really pitfalls, but it’s really driven by the avenue they want to go down to form a family. Is it fostering? Is it adoption? Is it surrogacy or other assisted reproductive technologies? Each one of those have their own challenges that are unique to that particular path.
So a big part of this, to help avoid some of the potential pitfalls, is to really put some serious thought into what’s the best… best path for that person, for their co-parent…
If they already have kids what’s best for their kids? And this is financially and emotionally. So putting some thought into that right upfront to really decide, This is, if we have multiple options, this is the one that works best for us.
So I think the biggest pitfall is when people dive into this and they don’t have a really good support network. So find the people who support you and will be there to help you through this process. And that can be family, friends. It can be people you meet who have been through that same path to forming a family. But form that network, form that support that you have, so when some of those potential things happen, those speedbumps that you’re not expecting pop up, you have someone you can talk to about this and get that support.
And keep them there. Even after you have that child, even after your family has grown or formed, keep that support there. So for me, I think that’s the most important thing and that will help anyone who’s forming their family weather those potential troubles that might happen. What do you think are some
Alex: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for queer families today?
Jim: Well, I think one of the biggest challenges we have, and we see this in so many aspects of equality for the LGBTQ+ community, is this continued fight, this demand for religious freedom. So-called religious – I like to say so-called religious freedom because what the people who are demanding this, you know, the ability to refuse service to an LGBTQ+couple in an adoption agency or in a restaurant,they’re not asking for religious freedom, they’re asking for preference for their particular interpretation of their particular religion in the public sphere.
And that is impacting us in all ways. Whether or not we’re forming a family, it’s impacting us and people are asking for the right to discriminate against us. And all we have to do is say Fulton v the City of Philadelphia, we know that there are fostering and adoption providers out there who want to refuse to work with us. And for me, I find that unconscionable. These agencies are supposed to be working in the best interest of the children they serve, and to right from the start say, “We’re going to refuse to work with these potential parents, these… these people who could be… who could provide loving, safe homes for these kids…” That’s all those kids want. They want a loving, safe home. And how… how an organization that says it works in the best interests of children can do that with a straight face and think that they’re actually living up to their… their mission, I really just don’t understand.
Alex: Yeah. I was going to say for our listeners who might not be familiar with this case, you know, we’re going to hear a decision from this case, about this case, in a couple of months from this very conservative court. And to me, one of the huge tragedies of all this is that there are so many kids out there who are having this impediment to being in a home with a loving family because of this discrimination. So I feel like this is the big case that we’re all keeping our eyes on among everything else that’s happening right now.
Jim: Who knows when it will come. I don’t know if it will end up being, like a lot of our cases that impact us, come in June, but it’s hard to say. And you know, these taxpayer funded agencies, what the legal right to say, “No, we won’t work with you.” But what does that mean for the 30% of those 400,000 kids in child welfare who identify as LGBTQ+, how are those agencies treating them? That to me is the worst thing of all. Those kids need those agencies to advocate for them. Are they?
Phil: I could not agree with that more. I mean, my head is – I mean, my neck’s killing me right now. My neck’s killing me. It’s just like…
You know, I’d love to hear about Family Equality’s wonderful podcast, Outspoken Voices. Can you tell us a little bit about the show and its mission?
Jim: Absolutely. Outspoken Voices is all about and for – it’s by, for and about LGBTQ+ families, whether that’s an LGBTQ+ parent, whether that’s a child who has LGBTQ+ parents, or anyone who comes along on our path to family formation. And we’re in our third year. I think we have 55 episodes currently. And it’s done by Emily McGranahan, who’s our director of Community and Foundation Relations. And it’s a really interesting podcast because the topics range from trans family building, being a grandparent, conversations about the various methods or the various ways of building family. So it’s all about talking about our families, how we form our families, but also topics and issues that are important to us as families.
So yes, can be anywhere from parents to kids, to grandparents, to experts in the field, talking about IVF or other technologies. So it’s a wide ranging conversation of all these topics that really resonate with us as a community and as families.
Andy: We… we left the hospital completely freaked out because they just gave these two boys a baby. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing. But one of the best pieces of pieces of advice my mother gave me before she left was just pay attention, listen to the baby. He will tell you what he needs. If he’s hungry, he’ll tell you. If he needs to be changed, he’ll tell you. Not words, but if you’re paying attention, you’ll figure it out.
You know, no one has given an easy ride when a child enters the world. There’s always two things that happen, you know, money exchanges hands, and there is pain. It’s just a question of how those two things happen. And for the LGBT community, a lot of times, the way it happens for us is money exchanges hands between an adoption agency and prospective parents, and the pain is oftentimes emotional. It’s not physical pain that comes with a birth. But, you know, we’re all kind of more alike than we are different in that regard.
Fred: One of the things that I take from all of this is coming to realize the fact that, you know, just because people or society say that you can’t do something or you can’t be something, that doesn’t mean they’re not attainable. And looking at the progress of marriage equality and, you know, being able to take full advantage of that.. it’s funny. Some people say, well, Marriage doesn’t really change anything. And I think for us it changed everything. And you know, it made this amazing family and I hope it’s only the beginning of a family. We are hoping to at least have one more. I don’t think I want any more.
I think the biggest thing that you have to take with you is that sense of perseverance. You know, everyone says, Well, it’s very common for you to have one failure. But you have to be ready to just keep going. I mean, if this is what you’re truly your end goal is, you know, you’re going to have to put in that perseverance to get there.
And it was hard. It was definitely something that took a lot out of us at the time. Looking back on it now, I wouldn’t change a single thing. It brought Brian and us closer together as a couple. It brought Lincoln to us, and everyone said it and we do believe it that your child is the one that will come into your life. And my son is my life and he is the perfect addition to our family.
Jim: You know, if you’re thinking I want to start a family or expand my family, definitely check out our website, FamilyEquality.org. We have a lot of resources there that can help you. And that’s whether or not you’re brand new to the thought of forming a family and you don’t even know the terminology. We have resources that will… that will help explain terminology to you. The process, you know, whether it’s adoption, fostering, surrogacy or IVF, whatever that process is, we can help you learn about that. So check out our website.
We also can help connect you with healthcare and service providers who have completed our open-door training. And our open-door training is something that providers can go through so that they can say, We understand the spirit, the unique challenges of forming a family for the LGBTQ+ community. And we also commit to treating every person who walks through the door, equitably fairly and justly. So that’s another thing that you can find.
Look for support groups. We also offer support groups. And I think that’s one of the most helpful things anyone who’s considering forming a family or expanding the family can do is talk to people who have done it, or find community with those people who are in that same place as you – thinking about doing this but you’re not exactly sure how to do it. And you want someone to be there with you through that process.
Alex: Excellent. Well, Jim, you mentioned earlier where the Family Equality website is. Can you tell us more information about where to find you and Family Equality?
Jim: Absolutely. FamilyEquality.org is our website. And again, there’s a whole lot of information there. Resources, state law guides, support groups, events, activities. So a lot that you can find there. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @familyequality, and on Twitter, you can follow us at @family_equality. You can certainly reach out to me by email is [email protected]. And you can also check out Obergefell.com. That’s my website, which also will link you back to Family Equality. It’ll give you more information about me and what I’ve been up to since the decision.
Phil: Amazing. I love it. This is so great. I mean, don’t be surprised if you get flooded at this point. It could really happen.
Jim: Please do.
Alex: Well, thank you so much for joining us.
Jim: Thank you for having me. I’ve really enjoyed this and keep… keep talking these – about these great things and keep fighting for… for our LGBTQ+ families. Such an important effort.
Phil: Thank you, Jim. It’s so great having you on.
Jim: Thanks for having me.
Phil: The I’m From Driftwood Podcast is hosted by Phil aka Corinne
Alex: And Alex Berg, and is produced by Andy Egan-Thorpe.
Phil: It’s recorded as a program of I’m From Driftwood, a worldwide nonprofit LGBTQAI+ story archive.
Alex: I’m From Driftwood’s Founder and Executive Director is Nathan Manske. It’s Program Director is Damien Mittlefehldt.
Phil: I’m From Driftwood is a nonprofit organization, and this Podcast was funded in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Alex: Additional funding is provided by TD Bank and Heritage of Pride New York.
Phil: I’m From Driftwood was created to help queer and trans people learn more about their community…
Alex: Help straight people learn more about their neighbors…
Phil: And help everyone learn more about themselves…
Alex: All through the power of storytelling.
Phil: Our score is provided by Elevate Audio.
Alex: The stories you heard today are available in their entirety, plus thousands more. And ImFromDriftwood.org
Phil:. You can also follow I’m From Driftwood on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Or subscribe to our podcast wherever you get your podcasts.
Alex: Thanks for listening y’all.