'Our America: Who I'm Meant to Be' explores multicultural, multidimensional LGBTQIA+ community

Watch "Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be" on your local ABC station or wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku

ByKen Miguel KGO logo
Saturday, June 1, 2024
Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be 2024 | Full Episode
The LGBTQIA+ community is multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith and multidimensional. "Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be" explores the lives of some of the people who make up this community.

The LGBTQIA+ community is not a monolith. It is multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith and multidimensional.

"Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be" explores the lives of some of the amazing people who make up this community. This special production by ABC Owned Television Stations brings to life the challenges of being LGBTQIA+ and celebrates the amazing people who are standing proud.

Watch the full episode of "Our America: Who I'm Meant to Be" in the video player above or wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

Learn more about each person featured in the series:

Serge Gay Jr.: San Francisco artist

Among the people who are celebrating pride this year is Serge Gay Jr., whose mural celebrates many of the leaders in the LGBTQ+ movement.

While each mural may depict different subjects, they are all about people he admires. With each stroke of his brush, Gay says he shares his authentic self with the world.

"Representation and visibility is very important to me and for my community," he said. "And to [be] painting such a big, large, Black trans woman was kind of very important, and especially in this neighborhood for me. I want to remind that you're here, you're visible, you belong here."

Avery Belyeu: CEO of Montrose Center in Houston

Avery Belyeu is proud to be the CEO of the Montrose Center in Texas, which is the fourth largest LGBTQ+ center in the United States. She is also the first openly transgender person to be the leader of a large LGBT center in the country.

"It feels like a bit of a glass ceiling moment," she said. "I certainly feel that this is the first time for someone like me to be in a seat like this, I think this is meaningful personally to me, and I think it's also meaningful for the community at large."

Meredith Carter & LC Carpenter: North Carolina firefighters

Meredith Carter and LC Carpenter are challenging stereotypes with their work at the Durham Fire Department.

"My outside was not reflecting how I felt inside," Carpenter said. "I feel great. Yeah, I feel really good. I feel like I am living in the body that I'm supposed to be in. That experience is obviously really different for everyone."

Carter added, "We have a really special thing going here at Station Four. You know, it sounds corny, but I really do consider everybody that works here to be a family member of mine. We're all high performers at our jobs."

Robin McGehee: Fresno's LGBTQ liaison

Mother and advocate Robin McGehee has deep roots in the fight for marriage equality and fights for the rights of those in the community as the LGBTQ liaison in Fresno, California.

She loves her kids and says, "I'll be damned if they're going to rob my kids of the right to marry the people that they love. You have a choice in a moment of conflict that you can either just take it and succumb to the conflict, which only builds resentment."

Jordan Rutter-Covatto: NY opera singer and artistic director

Jordan Rutter-Covatto is singing his heart out in New York and bringing new life to an old art.

The professional countertenor is also the artistic director of Counter Codex, an artist collective in Manhattan.

"The whole idea of the project was to deconstruct the form of a recital, I want to reclaim queer narratives," said Rutter-Covatto. "My hope for the audience for this performance is that it's a moving performance. The operatic voice and singing can be so moving and they can really draw us into worlds that we didn't know we could."

Kaleef Starks: Multimedia journalist in Los Angeles

Formerly unhoused and fighting to be her authentic self, multimedia journalist Kaleef Starks found a way to put herself through college.

"My parents were not accepting of me," she said. "And at 14, my father put me out. In 2007, I had nowhere to go. I was house hopping with various family members and they all had an issue with my identity, literally. Everywhere I went, they were just like, 'You can't stay here. We don't accept who you are.'"

She went on to say, "I really love education. I believe in education. Fun fact is, I actually started an application to Annenberg in high school, but I chickened out because I didn't believe in myself. I just did not believe that I would get in. And I did not think that I would be here. I applied and got accepted and got offered the full ride scholarship with Wallace Annenberg, which is an honor to have."

Jess Gawron: Stand In Pride volunteer

Jess Gawron is a proud volunteer with Stand In Pride, an organization that provides "fill-in" family members for LGBTQ+ people who have been rejected by their families.

"I'm living proof every day that it is possible," they said. "If you want something, you can do it. If you're unhappy with the way you look, you can change it. You can make a difference."

Gawron went on to say, "I don't have a lot of support when it comes to the immediate family. I really have no contact with them at all. And I wish that I had that love and that support and that acceptance."

They reached out to Stand In Pride for their own wedding, and immediately fell in love with the organization and its mission. "The amount of people that were like, 'If you need an aunt, if you need an uncle, if you need a brother or sister, a mom, a dad, a grandma or grandpa.' They were just so willing to be there and fill that void in my life."

Madelyn Morrison: Philly youth center program director

Madelyn Morrison brings her life experience to her job and her community as director of programs with The Attic Youth Center in Philly.

"I am a woman of trans experience," she said. "I started transitioning rather young - about 16, 17 years old. People say, 'When did you discover that you were trans inside, baby?' I knew that when I was a child. A toddler."

Like many other people in the LGBTQ+ community, these people build a family that crosses generations, genders, race, religions, class, and together they celebrate "Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be."