Chris McNulty arrived in Key West from Cleveland and was surprised to find that such an inclusive island was lacking basic support services for the LGBT community.
“The money was spent on bringing people in, but was not necessarily available to support the community.”
It was a chance encounter with a soon-to-be friend that led to the formation of Queer Keys – the only support organization to serve the community in the Lower Keys.
“There’s something to be built here. The community and the money is here — let’s see what we can do.”
Having a conservative upbringing that McNulty credits for delaying his own self-acceptance and journey of exploration, McNulty tries to hold space for others so they don’t need to share in that experience.
“You don’t have to know where you’re at right now. Let’s celebrate where you are on your journey.”
McNulty’s ethos isn’t limited to the island either, though he has taken the Island’s motto to heart, “One Human Family.”
“I look at it as saving humanity on a planet we’re actively destroying. Getting into human thought and understanding ourselves – understanding queerness as a norm – is a way of changing our worldview. That love and acceptance helps us to live together on the planet.”
Homepage: OUT & PROUD 50 2023