Author: Emily Reid

Carolyn: Celebrating Pride

As Life Unlimited celebrates the month of Pride, we are taking the time to highlight our LGBTQIA+ team members and individuals. Here is a writing piece from one of our team members, Carolyn, on what pride means to her.

“As a queer woman who grew up in an environment where it was expected for each person to be straight, having Pride was not always easy for me. It wasn’t even an option at times.  For the longest time I was terrified to come out, scared of judgment, hate, anger, and any other negative reaction. Eventually, I had to learn that no matter what anyone thought, I had to love myself for who I am. Having Pride means more than just loving who you love, but genuinely being proud of who you are, with all of your differences. Understanding and knowing that what makes you different is what makes you the beautifully unique person that you are.

 When I came out officially and publicly, I ended up getting excommunicated by the church I grew up in, which at the time was my worst nightmare. I was scared I wasn’t good enough for anyone. It was then when I realized that no matter what, I would always have a family within the LGBTQ community. I quickly met other people who were apart of the community, and they helped me realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me or any of us. In this community I have met some of the most loving and accepting people I will ever know.           

If there is one thing I wish for others to know about having Pride, it is that the journey to self-love and acceptance is not always an easy one. There will be down falls and heart aches and hard truths to overcome, but knowing that there are people in this world who love you for who you are makes it all worth it in the end. No one is unworthy of love, no one deserves to feel guilty or ashamed for loving who they love. Having Pride means loving who you are, no matter what.”

sandra

Sandra

Sandra has been in our Community Living program for 22 years. Her favorite part about being with Life Unlimited is her independence. This September, Sandra took a once in a lifetime trip on an Alaskan Cruise with her brother. She saved up money to go on the cruise with her two part time jobs, McDonalds and The Manor Thrift Store. Their cruise was through Carnival and they went to six ports: Seattle, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, and cruised the Tracy Arm Fjord.

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Julie Turley

When Julie Turley was 23 years old, she walked into Manor Thrift to pick out some curtains for her new apartment down the street. At the counter, she noticed a newsletter for a place called Immacolata Manor detailing their work with women who had intellectual and developmental disabilities. Julie had some experience in the disability field and decided to apply for a job. 37 years later, she doesn’t still have those curtains or that newsletter, but she does still have the job.

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Life Unlimited complies with all provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin for those receiving services under Title VI. Any concerns or complaints can be communicated to the agency in person, or by phone, e-mail, or by completing this form and returning it to us by fax at 816-474-3029, or by mail. If additional information is needed, or if information is needed in another language, please contact the Director of Community Services at 816-718-4547.