It was on a long walk after a dinner party when Carole and Peni realized that they were meant for each other. This year they are celebrating their relationship in a big way – in their 30 years together they’ve created a supportive community of family and friends, seen their daughter grow and flourish through adolescence, and each built their careers around making a difference in people’s lives.
But their paths to pride weren’t always neatly paved. Carole and Peni both braved a journey of self-acceptance that prepared them to face the world with confidence.
Carole looks back on her experience fondly – she always felt free to be whoever she wanted to be. Peni says her journey was a more challenging one – it was very difficult for her to come out to her conservative family and create inclusion for herself.
As Vice President of Resource Development at United Way Ottawa, Carole’s life’s work is built around supporting vulnerable communities.
The devastating event that unfolded in Orlando, Florida this year motivated her to share her story.
“We were utterly and completely shaken – my own foundation felt fragile,” says Carole. “We want to participate in what could be the next step towards change.”
Carole has, for the most part, been well accepted by her family and friends.
“But I know that’s not everyone’s journey,” she says. “It’s important that we help those in our LGBTQ+ community find the path towards living comfortable and accepting lives.”
Path to Pride is raising funds for vital local programs that support LGTBQ+ kids, families and seniors. Funds raised will support programs at Ten Oaks Project, Family Services Ottawa, and Ottawa Senior Pride Network.