Aug. 31, 2022

Season 4, Episode 8 (Kelly)

Season 4, Episode 8 (Kelly)

Eric and Gil were honored to be joined by Kelly for our first interview of this season.  It was so lovely having her share her story and experiences with us.

Transcript
Eric:

Hello and welcome to the Q lounge, I'm Eric

Gil:

and I'm Gil.

Eric:

join us as we discuss news stories and life situations, as they relate to the LGBTQIA plus experience, please visit us at theQloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. If you would like to follow us on social media, you can hit us up on Facebook @theQloungepodcast or on Instagram or Twitter @theQlounge. Hello, and welcome to the key lounge. I'm Eric

Gil:

and I'm Gil

Eric:

and we are super excited to be joined by Kelly today. Hi Kelly. Thank you so much for joining us. How are

Kelley:

you? I am actually doing great today.

Eric:

I am very happy to hear that. We're super excited to have you. Yeah. So you are you've done a lot. you are an act, an actor, magician, clown, family attorney, an author. Am I leaving anything else out?

Kelley:

It's a lot of things. It really is.

Eric:

You have your hands in more pots than I do,

Kelley:

that's really awesome. Yeah. I've tried to live an interesting life and I've mostly accomplished that. That's awesome. That's awesome.

Eric:

We are super honored to have you on here and hopefully we can talk about some of your books. We can do that now. What are some of the titles of your books in case anyone wants to pick them up

Kelley:

So it's probably my best seller, which sold over a thousand copies, which quite frankly, for a, just an average author, a thousand copies is great. Absolutely. Is called briefs from Redneckville and oh, wow. It is a collection of, I used to practice law in a little Alabama town. And not to disparage southerners in general but a lot of the people I encountered doing divorces and criminal defense and small business would fall into the redneck category. And the book is a collection of somewhat astonishing stories of people that I worked with. I actually got a release when they signed their retainer with me. It had a paragraph that said, I give permission for Kelly to change the name and use my story in a book I've done that. And I'm actually working on another volume of that. Okay. So the other books that I've written, I've done one on how to handle your own car accident case in New Mexico. Oh, interesting. And I've done some books some health books and poetry chapbooks. Oh, awesome. I, so

Eric:

I published a little poetry book myself, like a year and a half ago.

Kelley:

Isn't that fun? I love that. Yeah. I love that. When I perform occasionally doing poetry I've done that in Albuquerque several spots and it's nice to have a book out front. That if somebody wants to drop 10 bucks, they can.

Eric:

Yeah, absolutely. That's cool. Did we lose.

Kelley:

So frustrating. Okay. It's, I've told the two or three people that could have called you know, that I was off limits today for, from for an hour or so. I didn't communicate that to all the telemarketers and the people that want me to have a a car warranty. Of course. Anyway, we're good. We're good. Sorry

Eric:

about that. Okay. Oh, no, you're good. We can't see you right now, but it's up to your, oh, I can handle

Kelley:

that. Okay. I don't know why the default is no video, but anyway, I don't know either.

Eric:

I don't under, I don't

Kelley:

understand that. Okay, good. You can cut what you want out of that, but sorry. It leaves that

Eric:

raw and natural. And so

Kelley:

it's, I actually like that. And when I'm watching podcasts, I like when the cat knocks over the camera stuff, like that's all

Eric:

When did you realize that you were part of the G B Q I a plus community. And how did you realize

Kelley:

it? This is the interesting part. When we start young we don't know any different, right? There's never been a moment in my life where I did not perceive myself as being female and there's a one important moment in my life is when I was three years old, my mom was arguing with me. You cannot be a girl, you have a penis and girls don't have penises. And I told her, she's repeated this back to me many times. Of course, girls gonna have penises. I have one. So she ended up going to therapy. Trying to figure out how to deal with this strange child and the therapist probably wisely for the time. Said, please tell Kelly that that Kelly can be who they are, but they can't tell anybody ever. Oh, okay. And so here's the key on this is, this was in, I was born in 1962 I'm 60 years old this year. Don't like that. All I know. I know. And in 1965, when I had that argument with my mom, that I was that I was a girl that advice from the therapist was probably advice that saved my life. Okay. I have a lot of regrets about growing up in Albuquerque and. And having to have this secret. I ended up disappearing into books. I had lots of friends that like Ken, an Sloan and Matt B and people that were in the the gay community. And particularly some of the drag community this was back in the seventies. But I found myself, good friends with a lot of people in the community, but I really wasn't able to express myself. Because I was afraid I would get hurt and absolutely. I was bullied because I was always a, I was always a girl in a boy's body. And, that led to me being molested by men that thought, oh, this five year old must be gay because, clearly a feminine side here and then there were bullies and all the stuff that, unfortunately, somewhat common particularly of that era and, I had enough negative experiences. My, my mom would let me dress up as a girl, as a toddler. And my dad would get really angry with my mom and stuff like that. So I saw firsthand, being who I was intrinsically was gonna get me hurt. Oh, wow. I had to, you do what you gotta do to survive. And here's the odd part is I'm one of the trans folks that I'm attracted to women. I've explored the possibility. Wait a minute. If I'm really a girl, shouldn't, I be attracted to men and I play around with that a little bit and have stories along that line. But as it turns out, I am a trans woman who is a lesbian and that still qualifies as gay. Yeah,

Eric:

absolutely. I think. And Gil, and I've had this conversation, I think a couple times where people don't realize that you can be trans and not be gay, or you can be trans and be gay. Like you can be in a complete quote unquote hetero relationship or in a gay relationship and people. Don't think of that. They just think you're automatically this way. And you're like,

Kelley:

No, it's yeah the world's evolving, but they're still stuck in the binary. Yes. And correct. Even, we, we think of people in the Islamic nations, if they've got somebody that is gay, what they that'll get you killed But if you transition to where you are a trans woman and like men, they will tolerate that again. It's completely the binary, they don't have a problem. If you're really a girl and change into a girl, then you can date men. But not if We're a little bit more cool than that and certainly better in the last 10 years or so. Yeah, but the world I grew up in I got to be myself By the books I read, okay. I read lots of novels and things that had a female protagonist. One of my favorites was everybody knows the wizard of Oz but the second book in the series is OSMA of Oz was a little boy. That turned into OSMA the princess of Oz and, oh wow. When I discovered that as a kid that that L Frank Baum had created a character that that, that changed gender and was affirmed and held in high esteem as the gender. As the new gender, I just felt like I'd found my home. I read that book 20 times, oh, wow. That's the only space that I could live. And really the only people that knew my mom always knew and she would, when I turned 16, some people get cars, I got a car from my dad when I turned 16, but I got a pair of heels from my mom, oh my that oh, it's the sweetest thing in the world. She bought a pair of little Dorothy pumps and she covered them in sequins. And I know. And I've missed they've well, I lost them long story. Okay. But but that affirmation from my mom always meant the world to me. My dad was never cool with the stuff he kept trying to put me in baseball and, I he wanted me to. To be the dude, to be his son and I, my little brother turned out to be that person and I was like great. You, that person, but but it wasn't me. Okay. Oh my, anyway, what else do you got for me? that'll give us a little history. Yes. I, one thing that's interesting is all the years I was growing up, we knew that my dad had another son. He'd had a previous marriage. Okay. And when dad and. The previous marriage, when they split up, she ran away, took the kid. He had no contact with his son for years. So when I was about 17, 18 the son calls and says, hi, this is Chuck. Do you wanna talk to me? Of course, dad starts wailing and crying and dad flew him in and and he moved in with us. He was as gay gets. He was absolutely gorgeous. He proudly showed me how well endowed he was and I'm like you got all of the family's jewels there, buddy. The downside is he used to brag to me that he had slept with over 500 men and that did take him out. Unfortunately, and it was a horrific death. This was before they had any, anything to do to to stop aids. Yeah. But sorry. But anyway, it was with him that I started going to gay bars Anyway, and the drag scene always troubled me a little bit because I wasn't that I was not a gay man. Putting on too much eye makeup. That, that, that wasn't me. Yeah, absolutely. I was fascinated by it and certainly wanted to learn from it. But I also met, I was thinking this morning, there was this one drag queen that was pat Benatar. The person that, that did the pat Bennet, they were petite. They were the same size the makeup and the boobs were not exaggerated. The, they were pat Benatar that's amazing. I can't begin to tell you how attracted I was to this person. I was like, that's what I want. I just want be I want feel how it feels to be a biological woman in the, in this world. And that particular performer was a demonstration of me, of that and it was many years before I could at least try to be my authentic self. And it wasn't me that changed the world changed I live in Santa Fe and the only way I get misgendered here is my voice. My, my voice I've tried to do the the Mrs. Doubtfire, I've tried I've tried, if I do an English accent, I can then pull off a more feminine voice. But but just be it myself, if I go through the the fast food lane, they call me, sir, until I get to the window and then it's oh, ma'am I do live because I'm in a weird city not quite Austin, but we do try to keep Santa Fe weird. I fairly well pull off being female here, which which is really lovely. It's the dream. There will be days that I'll get to be more of me. I wanna lose weight and I, yeah,

Gil:

How was your experience during the eighties when the, the crisis happened? Because for me, I grew up here in the bay area. We heard some stories from who survived during that time period. but a lot of the especially younger community, it's like a footnote, cuz there is no one really to speak about it in from our perspective. So how was it, especially like you were in New Mexico at the time in Albuquerque. So

Kelley:

how was that? Absolutely. It was first of all, it was terrifying because the vast majority of my friends I've never been I just don't particularly care for cisgendered men. It's I agree. All my male friends with maybe a couple exceptions, my male friends have always been been gay. As. As I started seeing my male friends get sick and even dying. And in the early stages, we didn't know how it was conveyed. We were scared to touch, that if we drank after them, we were all careful to drink exclusively alcohol in that setting, because, in case you accidentally drank after somebody, you, that alcohol should kill the aids part. Yeah. Anyway it, I can't begin to tell you how scary it was. And, we had Nancy Reagan trying to be compassionate, but for the general politics, they weren't they weren't kind to us. No. Yeah. So it was very harsh. It was very harsh more than we're starting to see just a touch of this with the monkey Pox that some people are looking at, oh, God's judging the Gian, it, although monkey Pox won't kill you. It just makes you wish you were dead for a little while. Yeah, but that's the only context that this current generation has for that. And it, of course was revolutionary when we finally got some medications that would, for all practical purposes. Keep you from dying, if nothing else. Yeah.

Eric:

And they've made a lot of advancements now. Like you've been oh

Kelley:

whole nother world. Yeah. Whole nother world. Now you can be some of my best friends were diagnosed with aids and now they live an incredibly productive life. Anyway I'm grateful. That has shifted. Yeah. And I'm really weary of diseases that transmit within the gay community. Oh yeah,

Eric:

absolutely. And they love to pigeonhole it and say that it monkeypox, for instance, is a gay disease and is an STI you're like, it's not, it's neither of those things, just because there's a high occurrence of that as of right now doesn't mean that is transmitted. What is your opinion on allyship and what makes a good ally

Kelley:

this? So in allyship, actually, when I think of ally, I actually think more of someone who is not LGBTQ And but who genuinely wants to be a supporter. And a lot of that from that perspective is about unconditional love. I'll say love you have to be the one that stands up when When, if somebody uses the wrong pronoun a non LGBTQ person should stand up and say you meant she, or whatever. As far as what I think is part of the question you're asking is what I would probably put under the terms mentoring and because I've been through I can't say that I've been through what a, a 17 year old right now who's transgender or gay. I haven't been through that. We really are in a different world, but I think that understanding the history that we came from is tremendously important. And I have several people that are younger than me that I am a mentor with first and for foremost to affirm their journey in many cases into becoming authentically who they are their us youth. Okay. And that is, to me, almost like a duty. I think that with me being at 60 and have been involved in the overall LGBTQ community for, my whole life really I think that part of my reason for being is to show compassion and to be understanding and to share some of the tools that I've learned that can help us successfully navigate a sometimes cruel world. Okay. So that's important to me. Absolutely. That's wonderful. I've got I've stopped being for a long time. I was I did co-parenting I was a co-parenting Person with the courts. Okay. So when couples would get a divorce, I was the one that was trying to be the peacemaker and solve problems and take care of the kids and all that. And I've retired from all the legal work that I've I was doing. but I'm only taking cases where one, at least one of the children or parents are on the, are in the LGBTQ community. And so I've got cases on that. I'm dealing with one now where the parents have split up. Two of the children are LGBTQ and one parent is cool with things. One parent doesn't seem to be as cool with things she says she is, but for me to to be an advocate with their own parents and to to sit down with these kids and make sure that they feel affirmed that they have the internet resources that they may need to have, and to let them know that they are accepted, even if they changed their mind. Even if, they spend three years deciding I'm a, they, or I'm a, he, or I'm a, she that they are loved and affirmed no matter where they land And so I not only do that as a mentor with my a number of people that I communicate with, but I'm actually doing it professionally a little bit. Okay. I don't. I don't wanna take any cases except for that, because I had every intention it was, I did that for 30 years. Wow. And if I was the kind of person that just phoned it in and did my job and came home and put it behind me, I'd probably still be doing it, but I'm not I get passionately involved with the people that I'm working with and I burnt out bad, really bad, even to the extent that I had a stroke five years ago. Oh my gosh. Wow. Just from the stress. Yeah. Of, of worrying about, I used to keep. Around 20 families at a time that I was speaking into their lives and helping them to navigate conflict and puberty and all these different things that were going on with the kids. And I thought I had moved on from that, but I feel a strong sense of duty. I've told one judge, I will only be appointed in cases where typically one of the kids is LGBTQ and they feel a little stuck in the middle when mom and dad parted ways. Anyway, so it's, and that's still a learning experience. I had a two hour meeting with one of those clients today. That's 15 years old and It me telling them my historical experience. And them telling me, they, they go to a school where they share their pronouns and their preferred names. which was unheard of when you and I were growing up. Yeah. So I'm delighted that things are different, but some of the socio dynamics that that they have to go through, you may go to a school that lets. That lets you affirm where you are on the LGBTQ spectrum, but that doesn't mean you won't get beat up after school, anyway, so I do what I can. I do what I can.

Eric:

I think that's beautiful. And I think you, I think that's awesome. Since you have mentioned pronouns, what are, what's your opinion on the importance of pronouns? I've had many battles where people are, don't understand the use of they them, and it just gets into this huge discussion back and forth, which I'm totally willing to have as long as they're willing to open their mind and stop saying, it's a plural, it's a plural. And then

Kelley:

no, it's really not. Yeah. It's any time we don't know the gender of somebody. And we're trying to tell a story. We don't just choose one arbitrarily. We use the term, they exactly, yeah, my car was stolen. Was it a guy or a girl? I don't know who they were. we definitely, everybody uses a singular, they when they need to. Absolutely. But but when we ask them to do that as a courtesy, they give us resistance and that really is not about it. The singular they, or the plural, they, it fundamentally goes to their grown inherent prejudices towards gender variants. Yeah. And so the fix on that is first to call them out. Like I just said we use a singular, they, when it fits and we need to tell them here's a situation where it fits gender is of course, and we know this is a social construct. We have this thing guys wrestle girls do ballet. Clearly we do not live in a world where where that is actually true. And the very things that we consider feminine versus masculine that has shifted, but it has always been there. We're just, people are more open about it. People being willing to just. Honor other people. And I go a step further because I work somewhat with teens in puberty that are looking at their gender issues. And I don't want them to Phil walked in it, they we live in an incredible world that is continuing to evolve in the right way, despite some right wingers that wanna try to enforce their religious beliefs. We live in a world where we can explore what it means to be somewhere on the gender spectrum And that means that if you want to be a girl that loves to do guy. There's that's okay. You don't have to fall into the stereotype and by, by empowering people to do what they wanna do to be who they wanna do, we will strengthen society as a whole. And interestingly a lot of the native communities they. They had this as part of their community. There, there were I'm sure y'all are familiar with two spirit people, but in a lot of the native tribes there, there was not two genders, there was three or four And the people that, that exhibited both male and female gender traits were, seemed to be the shaman were affirmed and appreciated in the community. Unfortunately people get so stuck on what their church or their mom's church told them about gender. Yeah. That. That they can't see the reality of where we are in the world. And the fix on the pronoun issue is is to help them to see what is already there. Outside of their presuppositions about what gender is like. So it's an educational thing which I have no problem with doing. I really don't. I'm really spoiled on several levels. I, if somebody says sir to me or whatever it stings a little, but 99% of the time, it's just they heard my voice or they don't know what to do, I try to make sure that I give 'em enough clues, some red lipstick and earrings, and they have an idea that my, my preferences ma'am, but I've not really had Kind of anybody that was misgendering me to be a jerk. Okay. That's good. And frankly, I'd be really firm with them. I'm not a shrinking flower, 15 year old. To me that's an educational moment. And if they'll do that to me, they'll do that to somebody who has just come out at 18 or 22. Yeah. And that misgendering that's intentional. if I can help be a part of educating somebody a about the damage that they are doing. in, in our community, particularly in the trans community as much as things have gotten better, there's hardly a day go by that we don't have one of us who takes their life. Because of not feeling accepted in their world. Yeah. Yeah. And so anything that we can do to make life a little better for for the young folks, particularly, but for all of us, I think we have a duty to do as older LGBTQ people.

Eric:

Absolutely. I love that. I, that's a great explanation and a great answer. I might just like record that and just play it. Anytime someone says anything to that speaking really quickly of earrings. Is that Betty Page on your earrings or who's on your earrings?

Kelley:

Oh in Albuquerque there's a couple of girls and they go their little business is called two stoned Bettys. Oh, nice. And and they make these don't match. Let's see if I can get them. Okay. They don't match, but basically they've made earrings into are they've taken cutouts of old burlesque type things and okay. Men's magazine. Images and turn 'em into earrings. And I had on I make jewelry. Okay. The primary thing I actually do now is I paint and I make jewelry and I make magic wands and it's a lovely part of life, time of life, where I get to do whatever the heck I wanna do. Yeah. I have tremendous freedom, I've got enough, I've got a little bit of social security coming in. It's not much, but I can tell, pay every major bill with that. My, my rent, my car insurance. My, my credit cards I can pay all. So the only thing I need to do is come up with money to to buy toilet paper and gas, yeah. it's not bad. Yeah. No, I am so blessed. And I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. And so in so many ways, this is the penultimate of my life. This is, I wanted to get to the place where I could just be me. And anyway, so I didn't make these earrings, but the earrings that I do make I was wearing These Sterling and coral earrings, but they didn't show up on the video at all. Oh, okay. Anyway, so I changed into something a little bit more in your face. Yes. I love it. And I made the necklace. Oh, nice. I like that. I do a wide variety of, I mainly do necklaces and rosaries and molas and a wide variety of earrings and and I really love making magic wands. I, I'm using, Choa the skeleton of cactus. That. That has like little, I should have one Andy, but anyway I love taking Choa and juing them. Oh, nice. And then making, and then putting a crystal point at the end and making a really cool magic wand and and those sell, but they're also so much fun to do. Awesome. That sounds fabulous. And I don't make them because I, it's not a business. It's I take great joy in the making and the fact that they buy me a tank of gas when it sells is icing on the cake. Awesome. So do you have a website

Eric:

for any

Kelley:

of your arts that you, I do everything through Facebook and we'll have to I'll start sending targeted emails to Has been appreciated and more often than not. When I post an ear earrings or a necklace on my Facebook page, it typically sells within a couple hours. Oh, that's amazing like that. Yeah, I'm in so many different ways. I've been blessed. Anyway I there's a lot to be said for being rich but being rich comes with a lot of responsibility that I don't want I, I live simply but wonderfully and and get to be my truest self. I love that. That's great. I love it.

Gil:

is there any ways that we could be better or do better in the community since you've seen it from, from its days in the seventies and the eighties and as it's progressed and some of the progressions and regressions we've had over time, do you feel that there's any ways that we could do better or we have pretty much hit the pinnacle? Or how would you see it, or what would you like to see from the

Kelley:

community? That's an extremely important question and I hope that this podcast has millions of listeners we're crying. We're

Eric:

modest. We're modest right

Kelley:

now. We're keeping it. Yeah. Yeah. But the bottom line. We are nowhere near where we need to be. but we're on track and we've been on track at least for several years. As we've as we've come to being in communities where being able to be our authentic self and to love who we love is being more and more accepted. And I'm grateful for that. But the fix is politic. I wish I could get around that. obviously there's an education component. And that's one of the reasons why I'm so grateful that I get to work with some parents that are trying to deal with a child that is LGBTQ and that doesn't fit with the parents ideological history. And I, on that situation, my education is more than anything on the importance of showing someone you love, unconditional love and to fully recognize as parents, as caregivers, that when you send the message to a child or a young person, That they're only loved when they fit into the mold that the caregiver thinks is legit. You place that, that child, that young person at risk of hate and engaging in dangerous behaviors and potentially deadly behaviors. We have to work with parents and caregivers to make sure that young LGBTQ are not unaliving themselves. The other part is. I don't know where y'all stand on this but the bottom line is one political party is much more kind towards the LGBTQ community than the other one, and we have Texas governor, Florida, governor Utah, governor that is. In Texas it was literally illegal to affirm your child as being transgender to, to the extent that the, if a, if the parents chose to accept their child as trans, the judge asked or not the judge the governor issued an probably unconstitutional direction that they should be investigated. And the presumption was that the children should be removed from their parents. Yeah, that's awesome. It's shocking. And you asked about the eighties when I was practicing law in the nineties. This was in Alabama and judge Roy Moore, who made somewhat famous. Yeah. He issued a, a. Court order as a Supreme court judge that said if the, if children are being raised by by gay parents, there was a presumption in the law that the parents were unfit that in the event, child protect services had to come out or And I did a number of cases. which would be an interesting story for another podcast where where I represented a lesbian couple and and the ex and the ex-husband, who said, okay, I want full custody of my kids now because they're unfit to be parents. This was real life. It wasn't just yeah. I think in the collective for our society the most important thing we can do is go to the ballot box and vote for people that are going to affirm L G B T Q kids and adults and let people love who they love and let people be who they be. That, that is the ultimate fix. And I'm gonna lay low on this for today, but I'm very passionate on political issues. In particular to the extent that we've got people that some of the lesser known politicians literally call for the killing of gay people. It's in the Bible, right? yeah. And I don't want a society where we are Where we are judged and that rules us under Levitical law. Yeah. I don't even think that's where the church is. It's insane. Yeah. That some of these folks are trying to create that scenario that was maybe useful on some level, I don't know back in 200 BC and 500 BC, but it's not who we're today. Yeah, absolutely. Very true. So anyway, when people go to the ballot box, I want them to choose kindness for all people. Yes. Yeah. And. People will know what I'm talking about.

Eric:

I agree. A you can say whatever you want politically Gill, and I go all time on here and you're pretty we're actually, I would say we're probably very much in line with you preach the choir here. Yes. like amen. Hallah. And I was gonna say something else and I totally spaced it out now about, about

Kelley:

that. I wanna maintain credibility. I don't know that have Republican conservative listeners but these issues are not about politics. These are fundamental human. Issues where our default should be to love people and to allow people to have freedom. And and we've got one party that seems to be wanting to take body autonomy and life autonomy away from people And we've got another party that wants to empower that. Yeah. They can draw what they wish from that. no,

Eric:

and that's actually what I was gonna be my B point. Yeah, I'm very much about like human rights. That's my big thing. So if everyone was voting for if everyone was on the same page for human rights, then yeah. You can look at like economy and this and that and whatever other factors, as soon as you start taking away human rights no, that is. The number one thing, because now you're saying, okay, this person's less than this. Person's less than based on gender or race. Or anything else. So

Kelley:

Obviously I completely agree with that. And it's, there are core needs that we all have. And I think I'm gonna name the parties. I think the Republicans have really screwed up by spending they've spent the last 50 years trying to overturn Roe V weight and had they managed to do that a long time ago. It probably would've stuck, but society has changed. We're now at a place where 60 to 70% of people The when it's couched under the term of abortion, 60, 70% of people are. Are okay with abortion up to a certain extent, maybe the first two trimesters and the real issue in the Dobbs case. Keep in mind, I'm an attorney. The real issue in the Dobbs case is not abortion. It's that? It took away bodily autonomy, and that affects not just women seeking an abortion. That's gonna, they're gonna try to catapult that as Clarence Thomas handed in his affirmation to the ruling, they want to make it illegal, to be gay to, they wanna make it illegal to allow someone under 18 to express themselves in another gender. And they absolutely wanna take away same sex marriage. I don't think the majority of the public is gonna stand for that. And in a time where the Republicans thought they were gonna be able to jump in and stomp us in the in the ballot box, this November claiming that Biden did all these things wrong, they've completely missed their messaging. They're not promising anything that sounds doable. That's gonna fix the economy or high prices or anything like that. They are exclusively focused on imply it, it trying to implement Christian nationalism. Some of them are admitting to that we don't wanna make this about politics but it is the solution to so many of our problems. Yeah. Yeah. You can cut that out if you want. No, I think

Eric:

we'll keep it in. Unless you want me to cut it out, but

Kelley:

I think that's no, that's fine. That's fine. You use what works.

Eric:

What is your opinion on pride? Is it important? Why or why

Kelley:

not? It is absolutely not just important. It's crucial. And this goes back to We, even though those of us who are LGBTQ most of us still grew up with parents, with grandparents, with a community. If they, we were involved in any kind of religion, we grew up in circumstances where people hated us for who we are. Yeah. Pride gives us the opportunity to stand firm in our authentic identity and choose who we love. And we, when we see, when we get to participate in our community and see how many other people are standing with us, it gives us strength. It gives us strength to move on without with, let's say with less depression, some mental health issues are so prevalent in our community but pride is part of the solution to to hang around some people that are. Are not just saying it's okay to be gay but to celebrate who we are. Yeah. It's the only way to counteract some of the negative programming that we in the gay community have as, as part of our deepest corest identity. We have to, so often we have to accept ourselves in the community and pride is part of that. It helps us be the best we can be. I agree. Yes.

Eric:

How do you think the LGBTQ community is problematic or is it problematic in any ways, but amongst itself and towards society or any other

Kelley:

way? That's a tough question. If that was on my list, I didn't study it. I think. I think the biggest issue is not being their authentic self to try to hide who they are, because there's so many of us out there still to this day who are closeted and I'm not trying to belittle in any way, how hard it is to come out when you're 14 and your dad's the pastor of the church where they preach against gays. I get it. But but when you're when you feel safe to be who you are you, it's not just about you. Every time one of us comes out every time one of us affirms being gay as a choice that is authentically who we are. We empower other people to do that. So one area where I think the L G community could be better is to be bold show pride, stand up for who you are, knowing that it's not just about you use the fact that every one of us has the ability to, to successfully and beautifully affect other people that are scared and reasonably scared. We've got to stand up on that. I could probably make a list of things, but I wasn't, I didn't think this went through. But that's one of the key things. The other things that I. Probably hurts. The community, some is occasionally some of us are a-holes in the way that we react to the uneducated and I would encourage us to not let that be our default. I get it. I get angry just like everybody else does. But the bottom line is we are still in the process of dismissing a conservative background. That, that was prevalent in the fifties, maybe the sixties. And we must use these opportunities where somebody is being a jerk as educational opportunities. And part of that's just. Authentically being who we are. So I think that's a big issue. And I consider it part of my duty as an I don't wanna I want to make sure that I'm creating a better path for those coming up behind me, by educating the people that are also my same age that are not as kind as they need to be. Okay. Put the spot I'm like, yeah. Yeah.

Gil:

so on a lighter note, did you have any, did you, or do you have a musical di. That you're like, oh, that's my artist. As like Eric is a Janet fan. I'm a huge, Annie Lennox fan. Did you have one growing up

Kelley:

or I, I absolutely did. Okay. And I mentioned pat Benita earlier. Yes. But but who I adore is Cindy L. Oh, love her. And part of that I act, I actually got to dance with Cindy Lauper. I got to meet her. Oh, my amazing. I went to a concert like in 1983 when it was a big deal. And she came off the stage and I was in the front row and she took my hand and we danced and people followed us in a train around the auditor. Wow. That's awesome. But Cindy LAER for me was more than just a female singer. She likes the designer. Betty Johnson is. Yeah, absolutely celebrates the joy of being who we are, the joy of being a girl of being a woman But being in your face and not having to bow to men's ideas of you should look PRI proper. And if you live in certain communities, you should cover your face. We're not tempted, I want to live out totally out. And I say that I typically wear black, but I usually wear really out jewelry. The wearing mostly black has to do with my own insecurities about being fat. But that's something, maybe one day I will fix and I promise you when I get down to 50 you will see me coming from miles away. Wonderful.

Eric:

What advice would you give to a younger you?

Kelley:

Oh, man. That one could make me cry. That one's tough. It, because I grew up at a time, we, we, you and I have friends that were just a little bit younger than me that actually did change gender at a time where it was desperately dangerous to do that. And I don't want to, I don't wanna be mean to the younger me about being afraid. But but I. Absolutely should have come out before I did. I only presented outwardly as as more female, a few years ago. Okay. It's something I've always wanted to do, but I was scared. And I waited until my mom and dad died, which is sad, I didn't want to, I didn't wanna upset people. And that's one of the things that, when I was young, I would love for myself to have known it actually is going to get better. I know that's the cliche but but whole type, keep the faith be who you are in your most intrinsic way. And the first opportunity you can to be yourself jump and don't look back. So I wish I could have told myself that 20 years ago, I love that

Eric:

advice. I think that's beautiful and spot on. And I totally get what you're coming saying from the fear and everything else. So even just coming out as gay can still be very intense and detrimental depending on how you grew up and with the environ within the environment in which you grow up. Yeah. Yeah. Being like part of the, for like me being part of the Latino community and having the machismo attitude around you and everything else, it's it can be hard touch yourself. Yeah. I totally get that fear and waiting a little bit longer to are finding your prompts that okay, I'll come out if this happens or I'll come out. If this happens and. For me, I would like make deals with myself. And then at some point I would just just ex embrace it and be happy with it and quit making myself actually ill because you're trying to suppress

Kelley:

it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Let me, may I add something to that? Absolutely. So a lot of us that are trans or gay, we create this fantasy that once we come out, we'll be happier. And I would love to tell folks that is a hundred percent true, but guess what? When we change gender or when we come out as gay or whatever it is that we're holding off is that's the magic that will fix us. The concern is that we might not do the work. Cause what ends up happening is if you have chronic depression, and you are presenting male, but you are female changing gender to be who you really are, is not gonna fix that chronic depression it's gonna help so one of the things that I wanna add to what I would tell a younger me is do everything in our power to. To be the best you can be at the stage. You are in your journey towards the L G B T identity Because some of these things are not just gonna automatically go away and there are new challenges that are gonna be popping up when we changed that. So a lot of it is, get the mental healthcare. You need find people who will affirm you. That's probably more that people talk about counselors and stuff as if it's the magic. It's not having somebody who loves you and affirms the real you, maybe even somebody who is the only person that knows you're gay that is more important than anything else. So that authentic self, that support and health to transcend some of the crap that's gonna come.

Eric:

Sure that is. Yeah, that's great. That's wonderful advice. I love that so much. What types of things do you have going on now? Do you have any new things coming up or ProjectWise more magic

Kelley:

ones? I probably the cases that I'm working on right now will probably be my absolute last cases. Just because I have such a passion for the community, but it takes so much out of me and yeah. So I'm probably not gonna take on new cases. I absolutely wanna continue being a mentor and an advocate for the LGBTQ community. I want to work within politics to help make a difference there. And I want to help people one by one to be themselves. And then beyond that, I just wanna play, I. I wanna have pretty nails and make magic wands and garish earrings. I love that. It's it frustrates the heck outta me that here at age 60, I finally get to be the person I wanted to be at 18, but I'm gonna own it. I'm gonna work it. And I'm gonna be me. Yeah. Assist. That is how it. Yeah,

Eric:

yes. I'm a zap and head twist and everything on that. thank you so much, Kelly, for yes. Joining us. Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to talk to you. We definitely would love to have you back. And if you want to talk more about the cases or you said that could be a whole separate podcast, like I would love to have your input on anything. It's been such a pleasure and such a joy to chat with you this hour. Oh,

Kelley:

thank you. Thank you so much. And I would love to come back there's if we did something that was targeted to a particular topic, I guarantee you I can fill an hour would

Eric:

love that. So we'll do this again sometime. Sounds great. Thank you so much. Thank you for joining us. Thank you to all of our listeners for listening to us, and we will same time, same place next week. So

Gil:

much living your authenticity. thank you for listening to us. We hope you enjoyed your time in The Q Lounge. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions on topics, or if you would like to be a guest or contributor, please email us info.TheQlounge@gmail.Com or through our contact page at theqloungepodcast.com. Don't forget to subscribe to continue listening wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to be our sugar, daddy hit that donation button.

Eric:

Until next time live in your authenticity.