LGBTQ homebuyers

Meet Rachel and Anna, an LGBTQ couple who realized their dream of owning a home — in a community where they felt at home.

 

I just make a connection with who I make a connection with. And it happened to be another girl. I grew up in what I call a cookie cutter area, where everyone sort of is the same, and if you weren't straight, you were gay, and that was your only option, was one of the two. And so I think it was just having more life experiences and meeting more people, “I can just be who I am."

How I identify is just queer. There's so many different ways you could categorize yourself, but it's just people.

How much did we budget this year? This year? Not quite as much as last year, 'cause last year didn't yield quite as good a result, but I think with all the tenting arrangements that we do, if we can kind of split up, like, the merch table with the raff table, the raffle table The raff table?
Sorry, I have to riff on you for a second.

(woman laughs)

We met in college, we were in band together, it was actually in that instant messenger conversation...

(lighthearted ukulele music)

Neither one of us was out at that time, No. So...I had a guess. She played the part well. Where we went to college, which is where we met, it was a college town, so, you know, that was kind of what made the town work. But once you kind of got to the edge of campus it wasn't a place that we felt like we could really...

It's when we go to those places where, like that's when we see the discrimination, back home. Just a couple Google searches away, to find Western Massachusetts, so. We came up to visit in the winter of my senior year, and immediately fell in love.

I graduated on a Saturday and we moved on a Monday, we were out of there. It was such a shift, it felt like a relief.

(hopeful music)

We then met our friends who run Pride, and so that's how we've gotten into that. I think we've already met our goal for vendors, once everybody gets their invoices in. Oh yeah, that's right. Yeah. So, we're looking good on the budget. Cool.

We're like a month out at this point. Oh my goodness. That's terrifying. You know, seeing the parade for the first time, and the balloons coming down the street, and just crying because I knew that it was home. To see parents walking down the streets holding signs that say "I love my lesbian daughter". Even if that doesn't mean that my parents will be carrying the sign, like that's okay, there's other parents who love their kids, and I can be loved in my own family that I've made for myself.

(cheerful guitar music)

When we got engaged it was not legal, but until that night before our wedding, was when we were now allowed to say "The United States of America now recognized this union," as well.

We have rented and lived around this area in, I guess three or four different towns.

It got to the point where our lease was up so we just went to a bank hoping to have, like, a quick five or 10 minute chat with someone, and we left that day with a pre-approval letter. She was like "Yeah, you wanna buy a house. Well, let's figure out how you could do it rather than shutting the door right away. Look at the house and see if you're gonna make renovations, then consider that in your overall budget." Especially if you have people coming to you who are like us, who have taken on a lot of student debt, or have a ton of credit card debt, or just feeling really stuck, and being able to have someone come in to you and say "This is where I am, how can you help me?" Having a financial advisor who understands that and can be compassionate and kind, and work with you through that, to help you see the vision that you have, I mean we all have a vision for retirement.

The door itself is actually from our upstairs bedroom closet. Yeah, and then she had the idea of trying to come up with a way to use the door handle, and she said "Yeah, it'd be cool if that was the dimmer switch" and I said yeah I can figure that out. It's just kinda like our life we you know we take what we're given and we can make it work.

(laugh)

To anyone who either has found themselves in a spot maybe like we were in where we were living somewhere that we didn't feel like we could truly be who we wanted to be, as individuals and as a couple. You know it's really scary.

So, reach out to anyone who will reach back, honestly. One of my biggest pieces of advice would be to create your own family, that's where you find your community even in places that don't feel safe. You create the love around you that you may not be feeling. You've got love to give, for sure and I think that that's really important to keep in mind because not everyone is on the receiving end of love. Give a little bit extra to anyone and everyone. It's just being who you are and seeing other people as who they are.

(Song: What makes the world go 'round is love)

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