Happy Pride! What better month to launch this fun episode and celebrate a wonderful queer story!
Growing up in Germany, when Nicole moved to the U.S. as a teen she never felt like she fit in. Then she joined the military during Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom, and she ended up playing Taps for 600 funerals of her colleagues. That nearly broke her. She married a man before coming out as gay, and her dad and sisters rejected her.
Around the same time of that rejection, her beloved mom—the only family member who truly embraced Nicole for who she was--suddenly died at the age of 51.
When COVID hit, Nicole and her wife took a wild cross-country trip in an RV. They experienced discrimination and many, many vehicle troubles. (Who knew buying a brand-new RV would turn out to be such a headache?!?)
Then when they returned to Southern California, she landed a job reporting to a toxic boss who had a history of discriminating against queer people. She’s now in a much happier place, working at Toast, where she feels completely affirmed and embraced.
Nicole more grit and resilience than I even expected before I interviewed her! I loved listening to her colorful, varied stories of her life so far. If you want ideas on where to travel in the U.S., I highly recommend Nicole’s Instagram page! Check out some of her amazing photos here:
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