Lenard Mace – Generational Effects

“Younger people can come out at an earlier age.”

I’m just so thrilled that there’s something like Odyssey [Youth Center]. My God! I certainly never would have dreamed that I’d see that in my lifetime! Yeah, [if there had been something like that when I was young,] I might have come out a whole lot sooner! I think that’s wonderful that the younger people can come out at an earlier age, even though there’s still hoops that they have to jump through.

I’m always amazed . . . Probably the greatest thing that my work with the church did for me personally was put me in a position where I would be invited to panel discussions. I spoke many years out at Eastern [Washington University] for Dr. Maria Peck, for her Masters in Social Work program. The last few years, I’ve been on various committees with Bonnie [Aspen]. When I hear now of kids, like six, seven, years old, who know who they are . . . It’s like, “How can that be?’” I was 30 years old by the time I figured it out! But it’s wonderful. My gosh! Is there a day goes by that there isn’t something in the media? Kids just grow up now with all of this. As more and more prominent people are able to come out, it’s only going to make it better.

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Source: Interview with Maureen Nickerson and Katya M., 2007; held in the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.