Serving in the TRibe, With Pride

Nora Esders

A Greyshirt reflects on how differences disappear while serving others together, and finding hope in the TRibe.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am happy to share my experience in Team Rubicon.

In any new situation with new people, I have to decide if I want to disclose my identity as a gay person. Is it safe? Will it change my relationship with this person? Will I be met with hate or acceptance?

As I became more and more involved in Team Rubicon, and became close with the core group of Northern California—or NorCal—Greyshirts, I found I was entirely comfortable with being my genuine self and felt no hesitation in identifying myself as gay.

LGBTQIA author with other volunteers
Nora Esders, center, with a Greyshirt team during an op.

In the field on operations or service projects, I often find myself working on strike teams with only men, many of whom are 20-plus years my senior. I am willing to bet outside of Team Rubicon, our politics vastly differ and our paths would otherwise not cross.

But when we are volunteering together, those differences disappear. There are no heated conversations on controversial political topics which seems to be the norm in this country right now. We work well together and then enjoy each other’s company at dinner and campfire.

Coming together in service seems to easily bridge divides and gives me hope when things feel scary at times for being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Just another reason I am grateful to be a member of the TRibe.

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