If you are visiting us at the Alliance and you see a flash move in front of you it will be Lizz McPhee our February volunteer of the month. Lizz works relentlessly at the Center making sure the rooms are set up for events, floors are vacuumed and everything is in order. Her behind the scene work with our SAGE program ensures that Tuesday lunches go off without a hitch.
We sat down with Lizz to ask how volunteering at the Alliance has impacted her life. Lizz states that by being in the safe space at the Alliance she can be her authentic self. She can dress and act as her true self and feels totally accepted. Even though I am not totally out as a Trans woman in my day to day life, I can come to the Center and relax, be authentic and feel free. This feeling of authenticity has built my confidence in who I am as a woman and allowed me to move forward in my life’s journey.
“I began volunteering five years ago at the Alliance and was terrified. I was struggling with my gender identity and was afraid. I felt at the time I was not accepted in the gay and lesbian world, I longed for a place to feel that acceptance. I was caring for my father who was ill, and found that I had become isolated and afraid to leave my home. After the death of my father in 2012 I started volunteering at the Alliance. PRIDE was my first experience as a volunteer.
Volunteering was the best thing I have ever done in my life. I began meeting people, building bridges, feeling acceptance and love like I have never experienced. In 2015 I was pulled back into volunteering by Anne Tischer and asked to work on the Halloween Dance, 2016. I helped build the SAGE float and actually participated in the PRIDE parade. I was front and center in the parade route and the sense of PRIDE was overwhelming. That feeling of PRIDE made me feel the need to become more engaged with people and volunteering.
I am at the Center almost every day, no task is too big or too small. I now feel love, I am respected, I have experienced acceptance… I am HOME. My life is not perfect and my life journey continues but with my Alliance family by my side I can conquer anything!”