This month, as part of a Champions of Change event for LGBT Artists, StoryCorps and the White House Champions of Change program are working together to encourage LGBT Americans to document and share their stories. One such story is the journey of MJ Seide and her 12-year-old granddaughter Genna Alperin, which reflects not only the strength of family values but also love, acceptance and an unbreakable family bond. MJ Seide met her partner and the love of her life in the early 90s. Soon after meeting her partner, MJ embraced and fell in love with her new extended family, especially her granddaughter, 12-year-old Genna Alperin.
In their StoryCorps interview, MJ and her granddaughter are able for the first time to openly discuss MJ’s sexuality orientation, which only brought the multi-generational family that much closer. MJ recalls the time she fell in love with Genna’s grandmother. MJ had never imagined walking along the beach holding the hand of the person she loved because she was gay. She never thought it would be possible. But in Genna’s grandmother, MJ had found her partner and soul mate. “And that was the first time that anyone was proud to say that they loved me. That made me the happiest I’d ever been in my life. And then, when I got to know your mom and Uncle Justin, I knew that I had hit paradise because I now have a family that I can wrap my arms around,” recalls MJ.
As compelling as MJ’s account of meeting her soul mate is, what makes the story truly special is the acceptance she received from her granddaughter. When speaking about her grandmother, Genna says, “You’re one of my favorite grandmas. You do, like, a lot of things with me like ride roller coasters and play poker. I don’t know what life would be like without you here.”
Listen to the interview here.
We hope to hear your story as well. We highly encourage LGBT Americans from all walks of life to capture and share their stories. By inviting authentic stories of those that identify as LGBT - and those who love them - we celebrate the lives of LGBT Americans and help raise awareness about the progress for the community and the work that remains.
This month, StoryCorps and the White House Champions of Change program are working together to encourage LGBT Americans to document and share their stories, and ultimately bring more visibility to the LGBT movement.
You can use the StoryCorps app to record your interview, then post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #LGBTChamps.
To record an interview using the StoryCorps app:
For more information about recording your interview, visit the StoryCorps website.
Aditi Hardikar is as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement