52 - Ashley Lennox
Toxicology Laboratory Supervisor. Addicted to Music. Loves concerts and playing her saxophone.
With the infinite possibilities of gender identity and expression, when did you know….
“I knew something was different when I was younger. I would say, honestly… probably middle school. I never was attracted to the boys. I didn't want to play with them… I was like, ‘they definitely have cooties forever!’ All my relationships with females were very strong. I would always go to the female teacher for something… I would always just steer towards a woman… kind of focused, kind of pinpoint.”
On her coming out experience...
“I came out whenever I was in high school, it was my freshman year. Actually, it was a situation… we were having a family emergency, and I was just having my own personal kind of emergency. Then, that's when I just threw it out there, just blurted it out to everybody. And I was just like, ‘Well OK.... we have a bigger topic that we need to focus on…’ Growing up, everybody just always accepted it. Nobody told me anything was crazy, anything was wrong, or treated me any different, or anything like that.”
Frustrations within the community?
“Something that frustrates me the most would probably be the way that we treat each other at times… Because there's a lot of issues that go along with the LGBT community, say for example you have a group of lesbians, and they see a group of bisexual women… they'll be like, ‘Oh, the lesbians think they're better than the bisexual woman, because a bisexual women still talk to men…’ and lesbians are just like, ‘Well, we don't mess with men at all…’ So, that's the main frustration… is that there's still a lot of issues within our community, where we would think that we have outsiders that are treating us that way… we would still be inclusive to everybody that's in our community… and be loving and accepting of everybody in our community. But we're still not. And that's something that we need to get rid of immediately.”
Favorite part about our community?
“My favorite thing about community…. the fact that we do have a strong sense of community. So it's kind of a catch 22 with what I just said. We have a lot of hate within our community, but there's also a lot of love within our community. There's a lot of acceptance within our community. I volunteered at an senior citizen’s event, so at that time I got to interact with the older LGBT community, which I'd never done. I'm 30, so whenever I see 60 year and they're like, ‘Hey what are you doing?’ I can help them and we can interact… talk about our stories… talk about where we've been… where we're coming from… and stuff like that. That's what I liked. I enjoyed being able to meet everybody within my community, not just all the young people… I want to meet the young, the old, the babies… everybody.”
What is something you would tell a younger you? Advice for anyone out there who feels like they can’t come out, or they don’t have a community to be a part of?
“My advice to younger me would definitely be to be true to myself… do not allow anybody to cause me to be ashamed of myself or to try to hide anything, because at the end of the day, I still am who I am. I can't hide that. Eventually that's going to cause issues within myself… if I keep on trying to hide it, and cover it up, and play it off and stuff like that. So the biggest thing would probably be, just accept it… just be who you are. Be proud and just do it. Do it the best that you can.”
What in your life are you most proud of?
“What I'm most proud of… I would probably say my career in a lab. I started as a lab tech in animal diagnostics, then moved my way from animal diagnostics to human diagnostics. And currently I'm a supervisor now of my lab. I’m, pretty much, the youngest supervisor over at my company on the books. I'm looking at a promotion to a higher up supervisory role and everything like that… So that's probably my biggest accomplishment…. My career.”
With the state of the nation and the world in its current state, what’s one thing you would change if you had the power?
“I would rid the world of hate. 100% …to where everybody had to be accepting of people… even if they didn't agree with them, they could still accept them. I’ve taught a lot of my employees that we don't have to be friends ,but we still need to be cordial. We still have to get the work done. So, that's all we need to do. We don't need to hate each other and cause riots and fights and horrible stuff like that… we can still just go on about our business and just… out of sight out of mind.”