Serving the LGBTQIA+ community: An interview with a mountain town professional

Energy, Belonging, Adventure

Find Madison on social media: LinkedIn, Instagram, Mountain Pride Instagram

Why mountains?

Because I find harmony in the mountains. The mountains give me energy, a sense of belonging, and a desire for adventure. When I saw the Mountains for the first time on my drive from Nebraska to Estes Park when I was 16, I knew I had to be forever surrounded by them.

Favorite mountain town activity: 

Camping with my wife and our dog Olive. We recently bought a homemade teardrop camper and have been getting out and exploring as much as we can!

How has living in the mountains influenced your career?

Since moving to the mountains, I’ve had access to many tools and resources that have allowed for personal and professional development, including job promotions and the ability to pursue my passion for serving the LGBTQIA+ community!

Advice for a mountain town job seeker

There will always be obstacles to moving to the mountains, but it will be well worth it! Where there is a will, there is a way, and there are so many people in our communities willing to support you.

Describe the work you are doing supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the mountains  

Following the first Pride in the Park 2020, organized by Britny Rose, a grassroots group, Eagle County Pride, was formed to bring our LGBTQIA+ community together. Our group has hosted yoga sessions, dance classes, and panels. Last year, we celebrated the second successful Pride with nearly 500 attendees. Since then, I’ve led our group in offering further services to our community.  We have recently changed our name to Mountain Pride and continue to host social events like – Friendsgiving, National Coming Out Day, Queer Coffee, Cocktails at Two Arrows, Peer Support Groups, Gender and Sexuality Alliances, LGBTQIA+ education, and consulting. We are also currently planning for Pride in the Park 2022 on June 18th. 

Why is your mission with Mountain Pride so important to you living in the mountains?

Living in the mountains can sometimes be challenging – it can be hard to make friends or meet people with similar interests. Mountain Prides’ mission is to embrace, strengthen, and celebrate the diversity of our LGBTQIA+ communities across the mountains of Colorado. We want to improve the lived experience of our LGBTQIA+ community in every way, shape, and form.

How can others participate?

Get Involved! Join our events, collaborate with us, participate in Pride in the Park 2022, or reach out for any support you need. We also encourage you to do your part to advance a more accepting and equitable community – seek education, advocate for others, and try to let go of your biases.