She is an openly gay women.
Unapologetically and genuinely herself, she has fought her whole life. Fought for her community. Fought for herself. But her soft voice and kind eyes would suggest another story.
Laura Hein grew up in Ohio.
She went through schooling and became an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of South Carolina; her proudest achievement.
“I’ve earned my place,” Laura said.
But her work did not not stop there.
Laura pushed to build bridges between both of her communities as the Vice President of External Affairs for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Alliance: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.
She stressed the importance of LGBTQ health and equality and wrote amicus briefs for two major LGBTQ court cases: United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges.
Her drive is unstoppable, her heart is pure.
And then, 49 LGBTQ community members were killed at a Gay club in Orlando. A club that had always been their safe space.
Her heart was broken.
She saw the massacre as the lowest point for her in the LGBTQ movement, but took note of the awareness and support from allies.
“They’re feeling the rage we’ve felt our whole lives,” Laura said.
Though the shooting was horrific, Laura feels the community’s response and support is an act of defiance, a way of showing that the fight for equality is not over, and she will never give up.
By LUCIA BERMUDEZ