What is your role in the GLBTRT?
I’m a member.
What does the GLBTRT mean to you?
It provides a visibility that encourages embracing our authentic selves. It reminds me that although I was a little late to the party, I’ve chosen the right profession.
Are you involved in ALA in other ways?
Aside from being a member, not just yet.
What professional work do you perform?
I’m currently the Training Director at the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. I lead a team of seven who support 4,700+ fiscal professionals and 10,000+ end-users through the State of Ohio Enterprise. I’ve been here for about two years. Prior to this, I was the HR Manager at the State Library of Ohio – which is where I fell in love with libraries and decided to pursue an MLIS.
What would you like to share about your personal life?
I never thought I’d be where I’m at today, neither professionally nor personally. When I was growing up, my parents didn’t accept my being gay. I was subjected to certain “conversion therapy” tactics and often had horrific arguments with my parents that led to suicidal thoughts and extreme depression. As I matured and grew into myself, my parents began to accept me more. Now they’re two of my biggest cheerleaders. They’ve embraced my husband and they’re proud of my accomplishments (including my library degree!).
What are you most proud of?
I feel like Heather Small answering this. I’m most proud of living as authentically as I can – that I didn’t give up when I was younger. That I’ve grown, and laughed, and learned. That I’ve helped others. That I’ve apologized to the people I’ve hurt. That I’ve sung on a stage with the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus and watched my dad in the audience as he wiped away a tear and gave me a thumbs up. That I received a standing ovation after I spoke about living with HIV at a local storytelling event. That I marched in Washington D.C. with my husband this year. That I have a master’s degree and a great career and two dogs and a cat and friends. I’m proud of all those things, and very grateful for them, too.
Who inspires you?
Heather Small. Just kidding.
A lot of people inspire me. Some of them I see or talk to on a regular basis, and some I haven’t seen in years but they made such a lasting impression on me that I’d still say they inspire me. Barb, who got me into HR 15 years ago. David, who I got to sing for in the CGMC. Marty, who believed in me when I didn’t. Beverly, who encouraged me. Heidi, who makes body puppets and does headstands. Dr. Boon, who welcomed me. Evan, who makes me laugh. My husband, who loves me.
On my phone, I actually have a checklist of about 52 people who inspire me. At the beginning of this year…or maybe last year…I wanted to send a thank you card a week to someone who inspired me. I think I’ve sent 3 so far. I’d better get cracking on that!
What are your goals? (Professional and/or personal.)
I want to direct a small to medium sized public library in central Ohio.
What do you think (or predict) is the future of libraries?
I think we have a responsibility to increase information literacy and defend truth. I think our future has to be one that is visible and embedded in the communities we serve.
In what direction would you like the GLBTRT to move in the future?
To the left.
If you could be transported into the fictional world of any book, where would you go?
What would be the title of your autobiography?
That Toilet Ain’t Gonna Flush Itself (and Other Lies My Father Told Me)
If you could only choose one song to play every time you entered a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Glamourous Life by Sheila E.
If you could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you invite?
Judy Garland. Prince. Nina West, Columbus Ohio’s Super Drag Queen. Oprah Winfrey. Dolly Parton.
What is the meaning of life?