Jessica Blackman didn’t grow up knowing she was attracted to other women. But when Blackman met her wife, Katie Wright, she knew she was the one.
“I’m not exactly the most typical story. I didn’t grow up being LGBT or thinking I was. My wife was the only other woman I’ve been with. We met and it was kind of like a light went on. The easiest way to see it is I didn’t see gender. It was falling in love with the person.” And when she did come out to her parents, she said she was lucky to find the same love and support she always had known growing up.
She was also lucky to be able to marry Katie after the Supreme Court made its 2015 landmark decision which made gay marriage legal throughout the entire United States. She and Katie were married in January of 2016.
But the right to marry isn’t the end of the struggle.
As vice president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Blackman is involved in advocacy work on behalf of the LGBT community.
“Before everything became legal, we were very active getting West Palm Beach to give health insurance, employment benefits [to LGBT individuals]. Now, a lot of our outreach and a lot of our programs are geared towards getting everything to be inclusive in the county and banning (gay conversion) therapy.”