Horace V.:Hello. Today is Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, and this is the first
interview with Barbara Bell. My name is Horace Vanderbilt, and I'll be the
interviewer today. Thank you for sharing the gift of your stories with us today.
With your permission, all stories will be archived with Special Collections at
UNC Asheville and made available as audio and typed transcript files. I set
aside two hours for this interview, but at any point, we can take a break or end
the interview, if you so choose.
Barbara Bell:Thank you, Horace. It's a privilege to be here.
Horace V.:Thank you. It's a privilege to be interviewing you. So I guess, to
start, could you just start by telling me a little about when and where you grew up?
Barbara Bell:I grew up in White Plains, New York, outside of New York City, left
there and went to nursing school in Chapel Hill in 1963, and when I graduated, I
never went back to New York. Stayed in Chapel Hill for a couple of years, and
then came to western North Carolina, working for the VA. Was here for four
00:01:00years, and then I moved through the VA system in several different positions in
several parts of the country. Then was able to come back in 1988 and finished my
career in 2002.
Barbara Bell:During that time, I was becoming increasingly concerned about the
way people with AIDS were being treated, as well as some of my LGBTQ friends. If
you hurt my friends, you hurt me, and I've taken it very personally. I have many
gay and lesbian friends and transgender friends, and if they were not part of my
life, my life would not be as rich or as full as it is. I treasure their
friendships and want their lives to be as easy as mine has been, in terms of
Barbara Bell:People talk about white privilege. Well, there is also straight
privilege, and I've never had to worry about whether I was going to lose my job
or my home. I have seen that happen to friends of mine, and it's despicable.
Horace V.:Awesome. That's really powerful stuff. Thank you so much. You talked a
little bit about working at the VA. Do you want to talk a little bit more about
what that was like?
Barbara Bell:Well, I was in progressive administrative positions as I moved
around the country. I came back here as the chief nurse at the local VA medical
center, and then I was the associate director for patient care services. I cut a
deal with my boss that - the light went off - with my boss that as long as I
00:03:00fulfilled all my job responsibilities, I wanted to work in the infectious
disease clinic with the HIV patients, which I did.
Barbara Bell:They are a wonderful group of people, and I have treasured them. I
now volunteer at Loving Food Resources, a food pantry for people with HIV and
AIDS and anyone in home hospice, and many of my patients from the VA are still
clients at our food pantry.
Horace V.:That's really great. What's it like working at that food pantry? I
actually hadn't heard about it before.
Barbara Bell:Clients are referred by the Western North Carolina AIDS Project or
the Western North Carolina Community Health Services and the different hospice
organizations. We call ourselves a little pantry that can. We are set up like a
00:04:00small grocery store so that people shop without paying for the food we provide.
We have levels on each shelf, and they leave with anywhere from 40 to 75 pounds
of food each week.
Barbara Bell:One of our differences is that we are open every week and our
clients can shop every week. Some food pantries are open every week, but some
clients can only go once a month. If someone comes on the bus, we have
volunteers that will take them home so they don't have to struggle on the bus
with a big box of food.
Horace V.:That's awesome.
Barbara Bell:We also have outreach services to various counties in the 18
counties of western North Carolina that go out periodically during the month.
Barbara Bell:Today, we sent pre-packed boxes to our local solace center, which
00:05:00will be delivered to their patients during the week. We had 49 clients that came
through the pantry today, and we sent over a ton of food out with them today.
Barbara Bell:Yeah. It's a very rewarding job, and we have a paid executive
director, but other than that, we are volunteer-driven. I've been doing that for
25 plus years.
Horace V.:Wow. That's really amazing. It sounds like you've formed some really
amazing relationships here, like with your patients, with the people who come to
the pantry over the years. So would you say that's what's kept you in the area?
Is there other stuff that's keeping you in western North Carolina?
Barbara Bell:I love the climate, except for today.
Barbara Bell:But I like the climate. I like the change of seasons. I like
00:06:00Asheville because of its variety, and we talk about "keep Asheville weird." I
like the differences. I like the crafts in the area. I think we have amazing
artisans in this part of the country, and there really wasn't anyplace else I
wanted to go. I had planned on coming back here to retire, but I was fortunate
my job brought me back, so I was already here.
Horace V.:Awesome. Let's see. Yeah, so it sounds like you've been in this area
for a long time. It sounds like you've been working with LGBT people here for a
long time. How would you say that the climate in western North Carolina has
either stayed the same or changed or gotten better or worse over the years?
Barbara Bell:I think it's gotten better. Somebody teased me at the VA when I was
working with the HIV patients and said, "Well, half the hospital thinks you're a
lesbian." I said, "Because I take care of HIV patients?" "Well, yeah."
Barbara Bell:But that doesn't happen anymore. More and more people have become
concerned about this population of clients. We have wonderful volunteers who've
been with us for years, and, as I said to somebody, "And if I were a lesbian,
what difference would it make?"
Barbara Bell:I think that's the big thing, is it's not a choice. It's not an
orientation. I heard a tape of an African American female minister who spoke to
our sexual reality, and that's what it is. Mine is mine. Yours is yours. No one
looked in the mirror and made a choice, and that's what I say to someone who
says, "Oh, well, that's their choice." I say, "When did they look in the mirror
and say, 'I want to be gay. I want to be lesbian. I want to be transgender'?"
Nobody says that. We are who we are, and trying to change that does not work.
Horace V.:For sure. Let's see. You definitely talked about working both with the
food pantry and with the VA. Have there been any other organizations that you've
either been a part of or just noticed?
Barbara Bell:I've been on the board of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project,
and I still volunteer with them on their annual Dining Out for Life. I'm an
ambassador at one of the local restaurants.
Barbara Bell:Like I say, I can't imagine my life without my LGBTQ friends. I
wouldn't want my life without them, and I think that, while it's better, there's
a long way to go.
Horace V.:For sure.
Barbara Bell:When I hear stories of things happening to people, it's a tragedy.
It is despicable, and what frightens me the most is where our country's going.
00:09:00The hate in this country is awful. This is not the country I grew up in. It's
not the country you grew up in. But it's the country, unfortunately, that people
who are growing up in now. I'm very rabid if we don't change the administration
next year, I don't know what's going to happen to us.
Horace V.:For sure. Yeah, let's see. You said this isn't the same kind of
culture that you grew up in. Do you want to elaborate on that a little more?
Barbara Bell:Well, we didn't have an administration that mocked a handicapped
reporter, that made crude, vulgar references about female anatomy, that was
proud to have friends who was a known pedophile. I mean, that was not in this
country, and, to me, it should have stopped the day the current President made
00:10:00fun of the disabled reporter. That should have ended it right there, and I'm
angry. I'm an old, angry white woman.
Horace V.:Awesome. All right. I do want to jump gears a little bit.
Horace V.:You had talked about going to that same sex wedding and how that
impacted you. Do you want to talk about that a little bit more?
Barbara Bell:Yeah. Two male friends of mine were getting married, and it was a
very small wedding. I didn't think much about it until I got there, and then it
hit me, "What? This could never have happened ten years ago." It would never
have happened when I was their age or growing up, and to think about the fight
that people had to have to have their basic rights recognized - and to me, it's
an issue of basic rights. If we say all men are created equal, then they should
be equal in everything.
Barbara Bell:That, to me, is wrong when people say, "Oh, no, no, marriage is for
heterosexual people." It's not. My friends, my LGBTQ friends who are married
have stronger marriages than some of my straight friends, and they stay
together. A lot of times, I've heard younger people say, "Oh, well, if it
doesn't work out, I'll get a divorce." You do not hear same-sex couples saying
that. They have waited so long.
Barbara Bell:Two of my dearest lesbian friends have a son. I'm the honorary
grandmother, and that child has been raised with more love and more care than a
00:12:00lot of children I know. Both moms are teachers, and everything with him growing
up was a learning experience, but he never knew that's what it was. He didn't
know they were teaching him things. It was part of their life, and that should
be the right of every couple, same-sex or not, to raise their child and be
respected for who they are and what he does and what they do.
Horace V.:For sure. Yep. Cool. Let's see. You did talk a little bit in the
beginning about straight privilege and what that means to you. Maybe if you
could talk a little more about your journey to becoming such a good ally, if
there were any like really major points in that for you.
Barbara Bell:No. I met some very wonderful gay and lesbian people. We became
00:13:00friends, and there's no difference in them than there is in me. We both want the
same things in life. We want a roof over our head. We want the right to go to
work and not be fearful that we're going to be fired. We want to go out in
public and hold hands and not be shunned, because they do that. It's wrong.
Barbara Bell:It is so wrong that I can't even describe it, but it hits me in the
pit of my stomach. Why can't two women or two men kiss in public? If I have that
right as a straight person, nobody would look at me if I were kissing a man. So
why should they look at me funny if I decided to kiss a woman?
Horace V.:For sure. Let's see. So we did talk a little bit about changes in
western North Carolina. I'm thinking back to maybe New York or Chapel Hill or
other places you've been. Do you think Asheville is significantly different for
the community than those places?
Barbara Bell:Oh, I think when I was in Chapel Hill, I know that I knew gay
people or LGBTQ people, but I didn't know that I knew them. I mean, they were in
our community, but Stonewall hadn't happened, and that made a big push forward.
It certainly made me wake up.
Barbara Bell:Like I say, I am sure that I knew LGBTQ persons, but I never met
00:15:00anybody that identified that way, and there was such a fear, I think, for people
to identify themselves or to come out. I think it's more open now, but we still
have bigots, and we have to recognize that, in western North Carolina, we're in
the Bible Belt. The Bible Belt has its own preconceived ideas about LGBTQ
persons, and it's because they use the Bible to shame people or attempt to shame people.
Barbara Bell:The Bible is about love. It's not about hate, and religion should
be about love and not about hate. I couldn't go to a church ... I'm not
affiliated with a church right now, but I could not go to a church that was not all-inclusive.
Horace V.:Let's see. So we have talked a little bit about the differences in
Asheville, how you think it's definitely improved here. Do you think that
Asheville, as it is ... Would you say that it's currently more accepting than
most places? Do you think we still have a ways to go?
Barbara Bell:I think it's more accepting than some places - than, say, a small
Southern town. I think there's a long way to go. I think a lot of people are out
to friends and family, but they may not be out to the public.
Barbara Bell:Several years ago, I had a patient at the VA from Clay County,
which is out in the boonies. I mean, he lived alone. I could leave messages for
00:17:00him, but the only thing I could say is, "This is Barbara. Please call me." He
wanted nothing mentioned about who I was with and certainly not anything about
his care, which I wouldn't have done in the first place, but I probably would
have said, "This is Barbara from the VA. Please give me a call." Well, we didn't
do that. Nobody ever went in his house. But there was so much stigma that he was
so afraid, and we were able to work that out.
Barbara Bell:I think more and more people ... I mean, it's a double whammy. If
you're LGBTQ, you have one set of problems, and if you add HIV to that, you have
another set of problems so that he felt pressured both ways.
Horace V.:For sure. Would you say cases like that were pretty common?
Barbara Bell:In outlying counties, and even here in Asheville, when we first
started having HIV patients, people were a little concerned. I'm a touch person.
I would hug patients, I would hold their hands, and, gradually, we changed some
attitudes. We didn't change everybody, and there is some fear there.
Barbara Bell:My father was concerned. He said, "You're going to get AIDS." I
said, "I'm not having sex." I said, "I'm not having unprotected sex, and I'm not
sharing needles." He said, "Well, what about kissing somebody?" I said, "I kiss
my patients all the time." Unless you engage in risky behaviors, you're not
going to contract HIV. Now, yes, there was the danger at one point with blood
00:19:00transfusions, but they resolved that issue. So you don't find that happening anymore.
Horace V.:Awesome. Would you say that stigma is less pronounced today than it was?
Barbara Bell:I think so, or the bigots are more discreet, and I think that's a
lot of it. Some people know that ... I can't really go around saying things
about people, so I keep it to myself or in my family.
Barbara Bell:There was a horrifying story on NPR this morning, which one of the
volunteers was telling me about. Pakistan has seen an overwhelming increase in
HIV because there are these little pop-up medical clinics that don't have
adequate supplies, and they've been using the same needles over and over on
people and not sterilizing them. So they have children and adults and probably
00:20:00don't have the medications for them, either.
Horace V.:Gotcha. All right. I really like what you said about the bigots
definitely being more discreet nowadays. Do you have any good ...Barbara Bell:I
think there's some pressure there, but we have an administration that doesn't
care what you say about people, and when you see some of the rallies - which are
not as big as they claim, but really rabid people, it's frightening. It's
frightening what can happen to anybody, whether you're LGBTQ or you're an ally
or you're just Joe Blow walking down the street.
Barbara Bell:When I lived in Mississippi, I was driving down ... I lived in
Biloxi. I was driving down the beach highway, and the Ku Klux Klan was out.
00:21:00First time I had ever seen the Klan live. I've seen movies. I've seen news
reports. They were doing a highway hold-up, stopping people to get money. I was
terrified, and all I could think of was, "You're terrified. What's it like to be
an African American or Latino and see this?" I can't imagine the fear. That's
some white privilege.
Horace V.:For sure.
Barbara Bell:Can we stop for a minute and get some water?
Horace V.:Oh, yeah, no problem.
Horace V.:All right. Welcome back. This is once again, the first interview with
Barbara Bell. Okay. Do you want to go ahead?
Barbara Bell:Okay. I was remembering a time in the VA when we did a special
project in ambulatory care, and I was able to be the head of that. We handpicked
00:22:00the nurses who participated and gave them special training. One of them happened
to be African-American. And when I was leaving the facility, transferring to
another VA, she came up to me and she hugged me and she said, "Thank you for
making me proud of being black."
And I thought, "But I didn't treat you any differently." Which meant I treated
her the same as I did the others, but it made her proud of who she was. And I
think that that's something that I want all my gay and lesbian and transgender
friends to be proud of who they are, and not have to look over their shoulders
for the bigots. Like I said earlier, it's our sexual reality and who we are and
00:23:00we're no different. We just happen to love differently, and that's not a crime.
Like I say, I enjoy my LGBTQ friends as much as I enjoy my straight friends, and
sometimes even more. I'm vice president of the Asheville Gay Men's Chorus. I've
been on their board for ... This is the third year. I'm proud to be on that
board, and I am so proud when they sing. I get goosebumps every time. I've told
them, I said, "Every time I think I can't be prouder, you do something else."
They are making change in the community by who they represent and how they
present themselves. They have a float in the Christmas parade. They've been
00:24:00invited to sing at different events, different churches want them to come. And
that says to me that there is a broader acceptance now. I imagine there's some
people in those congregations that don't come that day. Well, that's just fine.
Stay home and be miserable. But I want my friends to enjoy the same life I do,
or to enjoy what they want their life to be without being criticized. I
certainly hope I'm helping with that.
Horace V.:For sure. Yeah.
Barbara Bell:I've gotten a lot of friends to various concerts that the chorus
does. It's like, "I never knew they existed!" I said, "We advertise." You just
00:25:00have to think outside your box. And that's what I hope my straight friends will
do, is to think outside their box.
Horace V.:Awesome. With the Asheville Gay Men's Chorus, I've heard them. They're
really great. What's it like being on the board for that?
Barbara Bell:It's a great group of people, both the chorus members and the
board. They want to make a difference in the community through music, and music
heals a lot of things. We have our Christmas concert December the 14th and 15th,
so watch for it. But it's beautiful music by a group of beautiful people. I know
some of them, not all of them, but I'm proud to be on their board.
Horace V.:Awesome. All right. I guess kind of changing topics a little bit.
Horace V.:We talked a little bit about this in the break, but would you say that
there's any particular LGBTQ people who have inspired you? Who you just really,
really care about that you want to talk about?
Barbara Bell:Let me think on that for a minute.
Horace V.:Oh. Yeah, that's fine.
Barbara Bell:I think a lot of my inspiration has been from LGBTQ patients that
I've had, and the struggles that they've had to go through, the paranoia that I
mentioned in my patients lived in Clay County. It's not as pronounced here.
Volunteers always wonder what will happen if they see one of the clients in the
00:27:00community. A lot of them spot me first, and they come up and they either hug or
say hello. I call them by their first name, but we don't have to talk about the
food pantry or them being my former patient at the VA.
Most of the clients I've run into, and I've run into a lot of them. I don't have
any qualms about doing that. And I've heard volunteers say, "Well, I ran into
so-and-so and he didn't seem to mind." I said, "Well, you're not going to talk
about his illness or his coming to the food pantry." Like I said before, I think
it's been a double whammy for a gay male who had HIV. And I think there have
00:28:00been a lot of struggles, job-wise. I would say that all of my LGBTQ friends
inspire me, because they are honest people working to have a better life for
themselves and their families. I don't see any difference in what we're trying
to do. We're trying to live our lives. The only difference is when we love, we
love a little differently.
I really don't know how to say that very well. I see many of my friends working
00:29:00with nonprofits to make a better life for people, and being willing to ... Like
our pantries, there's dirty work. There's washing bins, and it's not just saying
hello to somebody and help them pick out meat. It's dirty work, you know? Going
through produce to make sure you get the rotten apples out, so that the rest of
them would be good for the week. People don't think twice about doing that. Of
course, AIDS is not seen as much as a gay disease anymore as it once was.
There's still people who think it is, but you look at whole generations in
Africa that are being annihilated because they've been sick and there's been no
medicine to save them. And AIDS is a chronic illness now, so that people can
00:30:00have good lives.
One of the clients today showed me his pictures from Halloween. He went in drag
as Marilyn Monroe, and he used to perform many years ago as Marilyn Monroe. He
said to me today, "Not bad for 65. Is it?" I said, "I never looked that good at
65." But I think that many that I know in the LGBTQ community want it to be a
better world for younger people who are LGBTQ. Which is a big mouthful to say,
but they don't want them to have to go through the same things that they did. I
00:31:00remember I had friends, a gay couple, who used to have a dinner at the night
Everybody did everything with their families on Thanksgiving, and then they had
a potluck the day after. And I remember an older lesbian couple, and Marlene. I
don't know how we got on the subject, talking about what it had been like when
she was young and how she had to live and hide. And all I could do was sit there
with the tears streaming down my face. It was so intense, but she wasn't bitter.
00:32:00She'd not forgotten it, but she moved forward to have a better life. And was
pleased that she and her wife could go out in public, could go to church
together, but there's still that pain of things that people had to go through,
and it was so wrong.
Horace V.:For sure. I definitely heard you mention how a lot of people in the
community right now are trying to make things better for younger LGBTQ folks. Do
you think that that's definitely going to be changing different things than it
would be for the older generations of the community?
Barbara Bell:I think so. We have youth out right now, and the more established
organizations like North Carolina Pride, the chorus, and other groups are
supporting them as they learn to live their lives. They have some wisdom to
00:33:00share, but the younger folks have to make choices too. It frightens me from one
standpoint. And then back to the AIDS thing, because I hear kids saying, "Oh.
Well, there's medicine. There's a pill I can take. It's not a death sentence.
I'm not going to be dead in two years if I get it." And that frightens me
because there's no reason to get HIV now, and unfortunately it still happens.
Horace V.:Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Barbara Bell:Then I had an older patient who said to me, came first time I saw
him in the clinic. I said, "How are you?" And he said, "I'm fine. I was stupid."
00:34:00I said, "What do you mean you were stupid?" And he said, "I didn't think at my
age I could get it." I said, "Well, that's unfortunate. But we're here to help
you live with it, not die with it." I don't want to see kids dying or becoming
invalids because it is a chronic illness.
Some of the medicines create problems as well as help the virus. I don't want
anybody to have to live like that, or have to think about it every day when they
go out of the house. And the same thing if you're LGBTQ. You shouldn't have to
think about that when you go out to work, go out to church, go to shop, go to
the PTA. Whatever you're going to do, you shouldn't have to think about, "Oh,
I'm LGBTQ. How do I have to behave?"
Horace V.:For sure. And with having to think about, "Oh, my gender identity, my
sexuality, my HIV/AIDS status." Do you think that creates more problems for LGBT
people or people with that status than people who don't have those things?
Barbara Bell:It can. I think if someone who was hiring, I think they have more
sophisticated ways of getting around hiring someone who's LGBTQ. But they have
to be very creative, but they still do it. People still don't get jobs. But then
sometimes people do in places that you would never think that they would. I have
friends who have very responsible physicians, and it's known in their company
00:36:00that they are.
They don't flaunt it around, but I think they should be able to take their
husband or their wife to the annual Christmas party, just like I could take my
husband if I were married to that party. We all should be able to do that.
Horace V.:For sure. So yeah, definitely disparities in jobs. Have you ever
noticed or heard about any disparities in health care when it comes to being LGBTQ?
Barbara Bell:I have heard that some doctors refuse to care for someone who's
LGBTQ. And I think it's important that, especially for transgender individuals,
they need a physician who knows what this entails and can help them. And in that
00:37:00case, they'd be better off than they would be with someone who had preconceived
ideas about it. I don't know who the physicians are in this area who treat LGBTQ
persons, but I know there are a few and my friends have sought them out. They
make sure on the front end that the physician understands who they are and their
Horace V.:Awesome. And would you say your friends have been able to find those
physicians pretty easily, or has it been more of like a scavenger hunt, trying
to ask around?
Barbara Bell:I think it's easier now. Friends of mine that moved here from the
state of Washington about five or six years ago were able to find physicians
without too much trouble. They checked with other friends, but then I do that
too if I'm looking for a physician. I searched a long time before I found the
00:38:00right orthopedist to replace my knee. It's something we all check on, but they
shouldn't be turned away because of who they are.
Horace V.:All right. Cool. [inaudible 00:16:45]. is there anything else in
particular you want to talk about?
It's still recording, too.
Barbara Bell:Want to stop for a minute?
Horace:Welcome back. My name is Horace Vanderbilt, and this is the continuation
of the first interview with Barbara Bell. So we were talking a little bit about
Blue Ridge Pride. Could you just tell me a little bit of your experiences with that?
Barbara:Well, I in the past have always worked at the booth for our food pantry,
00:39:00Loving Food Resources. But I've had time to walk around and talk to other
nonprofits. I've been glad to see that more churches have a booth there and are
trying to be more inclusive. Because I think it's important that LGBTQ persons
are welcome in what you might call mainstream organizations like churches.
Because many have been badly hurt by the church in the past and have turned away
from the churches because of that. So I'm glad to see that more churches are
making an effort.
Barbara:I hope that it's the reality that really they are being more inclusive
00:40:00and that people will feel welcome rather than having to form their own
organization, because we should all be able to go to the same places. The same
organizations, the same churches, PTA, whatever it is. Everyone should be
welcomed, but I think more churches are making an effort. I understand that
First Baptist here has been making an effort to be all inclusive and has lost
members because of it. But they also may get more members. And my LGBTQ friends
that are part of a church community work as hard as everybody else to make the
church a better place. I was not there this year, but I heard that there were
00:41:00several more churches that had a booth, which is great. But I'm glad to see Blue
Ridge Pride has a float in the Christmas parade.
Barbara:Yeah, and the chorus has had one in the past. I don't know if they're
combining this year or not, but that wouldn't have happened many years ago. I
remember, and I don't know how far back it was, that there was going to be a
pride festival and they were getting people to walk with them from different
organizations in support of the community. And there was a lot of nasty name
00:42:00calling as we walked. But you just keep walking and hold your head up high and
don't lower yourself to their level.
Barbara:Yeah, if you don't like someone who's gay, they don't have to be your
friend, but you at least owe them courtesy and respect for them as a person. I
know a lot of straight people I don't want to be friends with. And there are gay
people that I know that I respect them as a person, I don't want to particularly
be their friend. But I have others that I am friends with and I think that's the
kind of thing we should be able to do, is pick and choose our friends on as
people we like, but not because of their sexual reality. And I remember someone
00:43:00saying to me one time, and we were friends and we'd done something. Well, you
know, I'm gay. Yeah, I don't think about it. And I think more about it as I'm
older for them because like I said earlier, what they have had to endure is wrong.
Barbara:And I say I'm an angry old white woman. And as I get older I get angrier
and I'm not afraid to tell people what I think, they're mistreating someone. But
I feel that way about someone mistreating anyone, a child, an animal, an older
person. We should be able to live our lives and we're not there yet. And I hope
00:44:00we get there. I may not live to see it, but I hope we do.
Horace:Sure, do you think we will?
Barbara:I'm cautiously optimistic. It won't be easy, but I think it's better
than it was. And if some of the straight community will get out there and just
meet people, you'll find out they're no different than you are. They have the
same dreams, the same goals, they want their children to have the same
opportunities. So what if you have two moms or two dads? It's better than being
in a single parent family.
Barbara:One of the things that, it was on Facebook the other day about a gay
00:45:00gentleman who had adopted, I can't remember if it's a little boy or a little
girl with down syndrome that nobody would adopt. It was a little girl and I
thought how wonderful that all these other people are rejecting her, that you
had the guts and the love to give her a home and a family. And everybody wants
to be loved, whether it's your birth family or your extended family and you want
that sense of community.
Horace:For sure. I do want to ask you is typically as an ally, what else do you
think that other straight allies can do for the community?
Barbara:Well, as I said a few minutes ago, they can meet the community. They can
00:46:00attend the Blue Ridge Pride Festival. They can attend an Asheville gay men's
chorus concert. Get to know people, invite them to gatherings that they're
having with mainly straight people. Now don't invite them as a token. Invite
them as your friend.
Horace:For sure. All right. Is there anything else that you can think of?
Barbara:I can't think of anything. Can you?
Horace:I can't think of anything either. Yeah. This has been really great.
Barbara:Thank you, Horace. I'm glad to had the opportunity.
Horace:Yeah. Thank you so much.