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  WINDY CITY TIMES

T in the Life: Gloria Allen
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-08-01

This article shared 6470 times since Wed Aug 1, 2012
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Pronoun: She

Identifies as: Female

Career: "I'm a retired LPN. I worked in nursing for about 32 years. I was at the University of Chicago Hospital. I also worked at Michael Reese [Hospital] on the South Side."

What work do you do in the LGBT community?: "I have a charm school at the Center on Halsted, and it's going great. I love my group and the people that come in. They're really sweet."

Hobbies: "I love to sing. I used to be a jazz singer in the '70s. I traveled with the band, and I toured in New York for a little bit and here in Chicago. And I used to model a little bit. I listen to jazz. I read books because I am in the process of writing a book now, my life story, a tell-all book."

Do you consider yourself an activist?: "Yes, I do. I cater to the trans [community]. I encourage them to do better things. I am always out there fighting for our rights."

When did you start questioning gender?: "I never questioned it. I was really born to be a girl, and my family tried to say 'oh you're just going through a phase.' After so many years, when I got to be like 9 or 10 and I was really into it, my family just embraced me … the whole family loved it. Coming up it was so much fun because they didn't try to stop me from being who I wanted to be. They said, 'well, if you're going to do it, be a good one.' And I am."

Do you have any coming out stories that you want to share?: "I was in grammar school and we always had Halloween parties when Halloween time would roll around. One particular Halloween, I think was about 10 years old … I decided I wanted to go as my mother because my mother was a Jet centerfold model, so I wanted to go and be like her. She had some dresses, and I snuck me a dress and got some makeup … we went to the party and that started it. I had so much fun being my mom."

What do you think is the most pressing issues facing trans people?: "Violence against trans [people.] And trans [people] now, they have a tendency to fight and bicker amongst themselves, and it's so sad to see that. It's difficult. I hate to see that, and I hate for them to be out in the streets… because some of them are really smart and brilliant, and they need to bring that out and let people know 'we're decent.'"

To nominate a person for T in the life, email: Kate Sosin sosin@windycitytimes.com


This article shared 6470 times since Wed Aug 1, 2012
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