For Gloria Stein, her life has taken her more places than a junked-up car.
The speaker and LGBT activist was born in 1935 and worked in a vehicle graveyard in Ohio while marrying twice.
In 1997, she changed her name to Gloria.
“I’ve always loved women, to me women were the greatest things on the face of the earth,” Stein said of her transition. “I had the time, I had the money, I had no one to answer to, I said ‘why the hell not?'”
Stein is now retired and lives with her partner. She serves as a mentor to LGBT people in South Florida.
When she does talk to people, she said she likes to kibitz (Yiddish word for joking) with people.
“I have a good time whatever I do, I always bring a joke in it,” Stein said. “One of the main things I say to people is ‘look, if I did what I did at 67 years old, if there is something that you wanna do, as long as it's not hurting someone or breaking the law, then go, 'what the hell' and do it.’”
Stein has been featured in a 2013 memoir titled “My Uncle Gloria,” which was written by her nephew Steven Shulman. She also was the focus of a 2016 documentary titled “Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride” directed by two-time Emmy winner Robyn Symon.
Outside of her speaking work, Gloria and her partner take care of four cats and are active in Congregation Etz Chaim and the Unitarian Universalist Church. Gloria also still has a love for vintage automobiles.
“Do you know how fortunate and lucky I am?” she said of her life. “How many 83-year-old people do you know that can say this?”
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