Marshand: My name is Marshand Hager. I am one of the current Board chairs for the Guilford Green Foundation. I’ve had a wonderful experience living in Greensboro as a lesbian. I don’t really recognize how hard it is for individuals until I get outside of Greensboro. I’ve never had an experience where I’ve had people call me a name for being in a restaurant with my girlfriend. Do we occasionally get stares because we’re an interracial family? Absolutely, but nothing that ever I’ve felt threatened by; more inquisitive, and then once they kind of figure it out they’re very supportive.
I wouldn’t feel that comfortable in other towns. I know recently my partner and I were discussing wanting to go to a local town that’s more rural to participate in one of their holiday celebrations. We really had to think twice about it because here we are two females with an African American son, and we knew that we could potentially be putting ourselves in a situation where someone could make comments or remarks that could be offensive to us or could affect our child. We really had to think about that.
At no time do we have those feelings when we decide to go out downtown in Greensboro or go to a restaurant. I really think that speaks to our leadership in our city and the leadership of the Guilford Green Foundation. I’ve been very happy to see at many Guilford Green events our elected officials, not just there, but also standing up for us in the votes that they make and the speeches that they give. There’s this real partnership in my opinion of many of our leaders, as well as with the Guilford Green Foundation.
I think that there’s definitely more work that needs to be done. I’m happy to be a part of an organization I know that’s going to do that, that’s going to challenge our leaders, that’s going to forums and speak up, and say we deserve all the equal rights that are straight counterparts do as well. Living here has been a wonderful experience for me. I feel strongly that it’s going to be a wonderful experience for my son as he grows up and I know that he’s going to be very proud to say, like he is right now at four-years-old, that he has two mommies.
Because of the work that the Guilford Green Foundation is doing right now to educate teachers in school and our administrators, I know that he will continue to get support from them because we will continue as an organization to challenge them, to empower them, and to give them the tools to support him.