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Thanks for listening to episode #66 of the podcast. Today's episode is with Ann Townsend, author of LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity. She is also an advocate for LGBTQ youth with Hands Across the Pond. She also shares a few secret projects she is working on and how you can get involved. I hope you enjoy the episode - reach out to me with any questions or comments!
Links mentioned in today's episode:

LGBTQ: Outing My Christianity
Hands Across the Pond | LGBTQ Youth Advocacy, Authors, and Speakers

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below!
AUDIO TITLE:  Episode #66 – Interview with Ann Townsend

 
Jenn T Grace:
Essentially I would love for you to tell the listeners just a little bit about yourself. So you can talk about your personal story, your professional journey, maybe the intersection of both of those which I know is actually part of your story, and just kind of- I don't know, give a little overview to the listeners of what your path looked like that led you to the place that you are currently today.
Ann Townsend:
When I was a teenager I was far from even close to a point where I was willing to accept that I was gay. I- in fact until probably the last five or so years, I was uncomfortable saying the word 'lesbian.' It has a lot to do with my upbringing. I was raised in- even though I was born in California, I was raised in Arkansas in a town that was filled with a gazillion churches and there was only 10,000 in the population. So-
Jenn T Grace:
Lots of choices.
Ann Townsend:
Yeah. So when I went to Hawaii and I was away from all the people that could possibly judge me and affect my life in any way, I went ahead and followed some instincts. And I had already had my first physical encounter with a female, even though it was fully clothed and included combat boots; it was one of those- that was the 'ah-ha' moment. That was like, "Oh, yes. Yes, I am gay. I like girls, yes I do. And this one in particular is fine." And then in Hawaii I went ahead and didn't stay in the military- had my first girlfriend and stayed with her for six months, and learned a lot about relationships that I had no idea about because I had had boyfriends. But because I was never emotionally invested in them it was never something that really- I didn't really grow from it. It was kind of like I was going through these motions like, "This is supposed to be this way. This is the way I'm supposed to be. This is the way the world works. Get over it Ann, whatever your problem is." And I always- it was kind of hard though because I was always disconnected in one way or another from everybody, because just the way my brain works. And turns out there's a reason for that, that I only got recently diagnosed with. But there was always a piece of me that couldn't understand some of the conversations, couldn't understand some of the social norms, and so I felt that I was just having to deal with yet another one of those social things that I just didn't get, that I just was disconnected from, and I just had to deal with it because that's what people did. And- but in Hawaii having a girlfriend and experiencing an actual lesbian love affair that was hard and fantastic and amazing, and because of the two people we were, was not at all successful. But while I was there I met some really fantastic older ladies from Portland, some- my roommate was gay, and he was also my supervisor. And they came down from Portland to take a look at the shop that we were doing. It was a national corporation, and we were doing something right and doing some things wrong, and they wanted to see how they could emulate the rightness and fix the wrongness. And they spent some time with me personally, and explained a lot of things to me, and my first introduction to the concept of baby ...

Direct download: Ann-Townsend-Interview-epi-66.mp3
Category:Community -- posted at: 12:05am EDT