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04.01.2015
Watch the Stories


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SAGE Story: Jeanne, 73
Raleigh, North Carolina
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Jeanne talks about her transition out of the convent and into a marriage with her partner of 18 years. This video was created by our SAGE Raleigh affiliate.


SAGE Story: Timothy Pool
Charlotte, NC
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Timothy (50) explains how he tackled substance abuse in the midst of ridicule from society regarding his sexual identity. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Paul, 70
Philadelphia, PA
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Paul shares his story about being fired from two separate jobs in the medical field because he is gay.


SAGE Story: Earl, 64
Wilmington, NC
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Earl describes his community activism as a "discrimination buster", which began as a response to bullying during his childhood, but has since become a personal calling that has been rewarding to him. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate. 


SAGE Story: John, 52
Wilmington, NC
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John remembers the social reinforcement of invisibility that marked his coming out experience in the South, contrasted with the commitment to activism that is the norm for his current life on the Wilmington Cape Fear Coast. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate.


SAGE Story: Kenny, 75
Raleigh, NC
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Due to the fact Kenny did not want to appear on camera, this story is a narration with a photograph. Kenny relates how he was belittled by a superior at work because he was gay, and what he perceives to be the cause. This video was created by our SAGE Raleigh affiliate,


SAGE Story: John, 79
Raleigh, NC
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Due to the fact that John did not want to be on video, this piece features a photograph of John and a narration. He relates his journey in the military as a closeted gay man, and how much things have changed, especially after the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell.” This piece was created by our SAGE Raleigh affiliate.


SAGE Story: Jeanne, 53
Wilmington, NC
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Jeanne talks about how different it is living in North Carolina compared to her former home in Connecticut. “I am not anywhere near as out as I used to be.” This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate. 


SAGE Story: Ann (60) and Carol (71)
Wilmington, NC
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Six years ago Ann and Carol celebrated their 20th anniversary by getting married at Niagara Falls. Despite being nervous about going to the courthouse they found that Canadians were very welcome. Ann was moved by the “opportunity” to be married and she wanted to be able to tell her grandkids that they took advantage of that forward moving opportunity. “We didn’t waste any time getting that done!” Thinking that marriage equality would not arrive in their lifetimes, Ann and Carol were surprised to see marriage quality arrive in North Carolina. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate.


SAGE Story: Alana, 64
Wilmington, NC
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Alana shares the rewards and challenges of leaving the San Francisco Bay area, where she and her partner Sande were among the pioneers of LGBT human rights advocacy in organizations like the Lyon Martin Women's Clinic, as they embrace the needs and resources of the Wilmington Cape Fear Coast. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate.


SAGE Story: Bob, 79
Wilmington, NC
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Bob describes how, “after living quietly” he and others began to organize and advocate in response to local churches rejected members of the LGBT community. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate.


SAGE Story: Ed (54) and Jeff (60)
Wilmington, NC
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Ed and Jeff met 23 year ago at a dance party. Both HIV+, they moved from San Francisco to Wilmingtonto retire close to family and for the beaches. After learning that a local church planned to ban LGBT people and people with LGBT family members, they sprang into action—picketing the church and becoming involved in the activist community. This video is from our SAGE Wilmington affiliate.


SAGE Story: Denny, 66
Philadelphia, PA
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Denny shares a story about their gender journey, going into the Army, and retiring to the Gayborhood in Philadelphia. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Philadelphia.


SAGE Story: Stephen, 72
Philadelphia, PA
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Stephen shares his story about joining the navy, coming out in San Diego, and how the world has changed since Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Philadelphia.


SAGE Story: Elizabeth, 66
Philadelphia, PA
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Elizabeth shares a story about coming into her authentic self in a house full of lesbians. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Philadelphia.


SAGE Story: Michael, 71
Philadelphia, PA
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Michael shares his story of discovering the writings of Issan Dorsey, becoming a Buddhist priest, and being a chaplain in the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Philadelphia.


SAGE Story: Mona McCallum, 69
Charlotte, NYC
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Mona describes her journey of discovery that led to living an authentic life. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Sherry Foust, 52
Charlotte, NC
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Sherry relives coming out to her family and their initial reaction. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Dawn Flynn
Charlotte, NC
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Dawn (65) re-lives her transition into womanhood, and the challenges she faced in the workplace. This story comes to SAGE from the The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Jeff, 65
Pittsburgh, PA
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Jeff (65) shares his struggle with the conflict between his homosexuality and church teachings, finding happiness later in life with his husband. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Mike, 67
Pittsburgh, PA
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Mike (67) describes the various reactions family members had to his coming out and his interracial relationship. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Brian Gantt
Charlotte, NC
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Brian (50) explains how a traumatic event in his early childhood shaped his experiences while navigating the world as a gay man in adulthood. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Bonnie Mitchell
Charlotte, NC
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Bonnie (54) describes her journey of discovery and acceptance as a lesbian and mother. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Don, 67
Pittsburgh, PA
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Don (67) shares his journey of recreating his life and how an AIDS diagnosis changed his future. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Mary Dean, 78
Pittsburgh, PA
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Mary Dean (78) explains how not dealing with her lesbian identity contributed to a problem with alcohol, and how therapy and recovery turned her life around. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Mary Minor
Charlotte, NC
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Mary explains how coming out as a lesbian late in her life came as a shock to her children. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Gwendolyn Rawls
Charlotte, NC
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Gwen (66) gives insight on the best way to incorporate your lifestyle and partner into your child's life. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Dee Jay, 75
Pittsburgh, PA
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Dee Jay shares the traumas of bullying and rejection during his school days and his path to coming out and self-acceptance. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Chrissie (64) and Charlotte (62)
Pittsburgh, PA
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Chrissie (64) and Charlotte (62) reflect on 40 years together and the challenges and efforts of seeking acceptance from family and friends. This video is from our affiliate, SAGE Western Pennsylvania at the Persad Center.


SAGE Story: Debbie Warren
Charlotte, NC
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Debbie (59) describes her extensive work in HIV patient care and the LGBTQ community over the years. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Mykal Shannon
Charlotte, NC
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Mykal (51) describes his transition into manhood, and the new truths he discovered about himself. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.

 


SAGE Story: Kathi, 68
Pittsburgh, PA
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Kathi shares how her life was permanently impacted when her mother learned of her same-sex attraction at an early age.


SAGE Story: Debra Hopkins
Charlotte, NC
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Debra (58) describes how she came out as transgender to her church congregation, and the unconditional love she received from her son. This story comes from The Freedom Center for Social Justice.


SAGE Story: Linda
SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast, North Carolina
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Linda talks about encountering homophobia in North Carolina after moving back home with her partner and how she became involved in social justice and equality.


SAGE Story: Sonja
Charlotte, North Carolina
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Sonja tells us how she developed her first relationship with a woman and how after she shared her relationship status, feared for her life and that of her partner.


SAGE Story: Mona
Charlotte, North Carolina
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Mona knew at a very young age that she liked girls and after a teacher admonished her, she realized that it was “wrong” and hid her attraction. She eventually married a man, which she later divorced, and eventually managed to come out slowly, despite her fear of rejection.


SAGE Story: Les G.
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Les G. (63) shares how the ending of a relationship led him to feel isolated and alone until he decided to change his life and continue to go out and meet people. 


SAGE Story: Harry
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Harry tells us when he realized he was gay in college and the anxiety and self-loathing it caused him. After a visit to the campus psychiatrist, he buried his feelings and ended up married with a family. 50 years later, he was finally able to come out and feel more comfortable with his sexuality and found a community who accepted him.


SAGE Story: Lorraine
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Lorraine (51) shares her story about being a bisexual and feeling marginalized in the LGBT community.


SAGE Story: Rachael
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Rachael (73) tells us how she struggled growing up with the desire to dress as a female and eventually decided to make the change to transition. Her story is that of her relationship with her family and how it is strained because of her being transgender.

 


SAGE Story: Les S.
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Les (54) shares how he is both gay and part of a strong religious community that has helped him feel less isolated in his life.


SAGE Story: Glen
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Although he had known he was gay since he could remember, it wasn’t until after he married his female best friend and had three children that Glen (56) came out to his colleagues at his medical practice. Right after coming out to his co-worker, Glen finds himself in the office of his boss, whom he has heard use an anti-gay slur, and his boss is asking him, “What’s going on? Why are you so nervous?”  


SAGE Story: Thom
SAGE Raleigh, North Carolina
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Thom (71) learned that his uncle, a well-regarded professor and fellow veteran, was gay when Thom was 60 and his uncle was 80. Thom recalls that his uncle was fascinated by the idea that the day might come when gays could serve openly in the military.   

Years later, when his uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Thom arranged for 24-hour care. Thom always disclosed to the caretakers that both he and his uncle were gay and eight years passed without incident, that is until one caregiver decided that Thom’s uncle was “in jeopardy of his salvation.” What Thom learned in the investigation that followed is a harrowing example of how the people who care for our LGBT elders can do great harm and, conversely, how loving and accepting caregivers can save a man’s life. 


Barbara Genton from SAGE Upstate New York
Syracuse, New York
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Barbara Genton from SAGE Upstate New York talks about coming out of the closet after being diagnosed with breast cancer and how she is now an activist.


SAGE Story: Lynette
SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast, North Carolina
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Lynette talks about the murder of her friend Talana, a lesbian who wasn't allowed a burial in any of the local churches, and how her death spurred her to come out of the closet and become a local activist.


SAGE Story: Sherry
SAGE Wilmington of the Cape Fear Coast, North Carolina
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Sherry talks about always being attracted to girls, but having to marry a man because of society's expectations. Eventually, she was able to come out and find herself.


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