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ASHLEY, 2009

JACKSON, MS 

ASHLEY 2012: This photo was taken in my home on a hot sticky Mississippi summer night. The next day I was heading to Los Angeles to march in the L.A. Gay Pride Parade with a group of amazing students. That was a very difficult time of my life. I’d just broken up with my girlfriend of 3 years, we were still living in the same house and I’d just found out I would be needing an invasive life changing surgery.

That summer changed my life forever. I loved, lost, laughed, cried, and grew stronger. I learned so much about myself and the passion I have for helping LGBT youth, especially those in the south.

I think about my life and how hard it is to be a loud mouth, out of the closet, black lesbian living in the south and how I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Most days you will find me with a huge smile on my face, ready to take on the world. I am in awe of this photo ever time I look at it. There’s no smile you can see the determination in my eyes. Might I also add that my hair was fantastic!