Pacifica Senior Living Blog

Standing Proud: Alex's Story

Jun 1, 2023 1:22:57 PM / by Carly Dodd, Pacifica Senior Living

As we welcome the month of June, we celebrate the diversity and individuality of our residents and staff. It is our aim to create a warm and inviting environment where everyone can be their truest self. Furthermore, we want to proudly stand in support of all our LGBTQIA+ across our communities.

We spoke with Alex, one of our Executive Directors and a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. He shared his experiences, both in his personal and work life with us. His powerful story of triumph is an inspiration which gives us strength to continue the fight for equality.


Tell us about yourself. What's your story? 

I was born and raised in the South, mostly in Tennessee.  I came from a very southern Christian faith, and was met with a lot of shame in my family.  I’ve known for my whole life that I was different, but I tried to blend in.

I came out in a very personal letter to my mother, which unfortunately she chose to share with my whole church. This led to a backlash and lack of acceptance from the community, and bullying behaviors from some of the members.

Their actions led me to have a complete panic attack while at work, and I subsequently lost my job. I was also forced to make decisions I would have never made if I had a support system around me. 

I ended up moving to the Pacific Northwest, which was a much more accepting environment than where I was living in Tennessee. My new home gave me strength and helped me find my people and my voice. I found it through serving others. 

As I was finding myself and my voice, I knew that even calling myself a lesbian was not correct because I felt very masculine. However, I lived for many years as a very butch lesbian.  Eventually, I decided to become my true self at 40.  It was life changing.

I share my story with pride to help anyone else in need, who may be feeling how I felt, and to be a support system for someone when they feel they have none. I believe all people deserve to know that we are all divine beings.  We are all the same and all special.

How has your life changed since transitioning? 

I was able to forgive myself and others for wrongs, and I was filled with this deep sense of gratitude which hasn’t left since.  I am now able to be my true self in all spaces of the world.  


How do you celebrate Pride and what does it mean to you? 

I love to be a part of the Pride parades, and I love to see all the people at the event.  There are so many people needing a hug or a smile and it helps them get through the year.  It's all about connection for me. 


What was the most difficult part about coming out? What was the best part?

The most difficult thing is that some people want to shame you because you are different, but the best part is being able to be my true self in all places. 


What is something you wish others understood about your identity?

That we all get a learning curve especially if you knew me before the transition. Pronouns can be overrated at times, so I give a lot of grace as I need it.  


What advice would you give to someone struggling with their identity? 

Find someone you trust who does not shame and talk to them. Be true to yourself, and listen to your inner voice. 

Who are some of your LGBTQIA+ role models?

I would say Queen, Elton John, and Melissa Ethridge, as well as my wife, Aja.


In your opinion, what does it mean to be a good ally?

Being a good ally is simply someone who is a good friend. That’s it. Correct the misinformation, and stand up for others. 


How do you foster an inclusive and accepting environment in your community?

I am very open about who I am, and I promote a shame-free teaching environment.  I try to find a connection with everyone. 

Thank you to Alex and all of our residents, team members, and their loved ones and families for continuing to help Pacifica Senior Living build an environment of acceptance and understanding across our communities. Your continued bravery and willingness to share your stories and stand up for others is what makes our communities such a welcoming and inviting space for everyone.

Together we can make this world a more loving, accepting, and safe place for all. 

Come visit us!


Tags: Employee Spotlight