GLAAD Media Institute alum Marie Spivey shared her story to WNYC as a part of the public radio’s ‘Aging with Pride’ series. In 2018, Spivey took a GMI course in collaboration with Sage in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The course prepared her to discuss her story of coming out later in life and her experiences in the LGBTQ community to the media and give a speech at the 2018 Sage Awards and Gala.
Harlem-born Spivey came out as a lesbian in her fifties following her youngest child’s departure to college. However, she has long been involved with the LGBTQ community. Not only does she have family members who are LGBTQ, but she has additionally advocated and been involved with the community throughout her life. While coming to terms with her identity was easier due to her involvement in the LGBTQ community, there were also challenges. Nevertheless, Spivey recognizes that those who truly loved and cared for her would stand by her side, while those who didn’t support her would be left on the wayside as she moved forward in her life.
Though Spivey came out later in life, she does not feel she missed out. Rather, it taught her the courage to live authentically and be her own person. She tells WNYC that not much has changed since she began identifying as a Lesbian. She continues to advocate for LGBTQ elders to ensure their recognition within the community and represent SAGE in the Bronx. For her, Pride is a celebration. Pride means being enthusiastically true to yourself and letting others know how happy the LGBTQ community is to live in the present day. Now at the age of 69 and reflecting on her journey, she tells WNYC “I’m in the community, I’m involved, and I found somebody of interest– I did the damn thing.”
To listen to Marie Spivey’s contribution to the ‘Aging with Pride’ series, go to WNYC.