Say Hello to Our Impressive Crop of Summer Interns

This may be the best summer yet for interns at FEC. We asked
each intern to write a short post about who they are and why they
decided to come intern for us. These really are worth a read.

Liv Pangburn

I hope to be a parent in a world that can accept me as a
transgender person and an LGBT parent.

I’ve felt passionately about equal rights since I knew the meaning
of the phrase, and became involved in my school’s Gay Straight
Alliance. I have had friends with LGBT parents my whole life and
never thought about the struggles that they and their parents face
on a daily basis until I discovered Family Equality Council.

From my first day at Family Equality Council, I felt welcomed
despite my lack of experience and my age (being only 17 at the
time), and I felt that I could make a difference in people’s lives.
I continue to feel the importance of Family Equality’s work as I
enter my third internship here. I hope to find a job after college
that feels as comfortable and inspiring as my time at FEC.

Kyle Ahlers

LGBT families have always been a huge part of my life, especially
after I started going to Family Week in P-town with my moms and
brother when I was young.

My interest in the political side of things started when I was
about eight or nine. My mom got in an argument with a man outside
out local grocery store who was collecting signatures for DOMA
(Defense of Marriage Act) because he told me that my parents were
bad people and child abusers. That was when I learned the meaning
of ignorance and discrimination and I decided that the fight for
equality was of huge importance for my moms and for all of the
other LGBT families.

Working with Family Equality Council has already allowed me to meet
some amazing people who are great role models because they are very
committed to equality. I enjoy being involved behind the scenes
instead of hearing LGBT news after it has occurred.

When I grow up, I want to speak at least three languages. My goal
is to live abroad and hopefully work with and be a resource for
youth in countries that are more socially conservative than the

Elizabeth Bolles

This fall I will enter my third year as a Dean’s Scholar at Tulane
Law School in New Orleans. In 2004, I received my BA in Religion
from Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. I am originally from the
Boston area, and am the recipient of a 2010 Gaylaw Education Fund
Summer Fellowship.

One way or another, I have been active in the gay rights movement
for almost 15 years. It is important work that must be done, and
whatever direction life takes me in, I find myself unable and
unwilling to back off from a commitment to the movement.

As a law fellow, I am gaining first-hand experience in my work at
Family Equality Council with the exact kinds of problems I plan to
address as an attorney, both in private practice and public life,
by learning about the needs of LGBT families, as well as effective
tactics for improving the station of all families in society at

The paradox is that most LGBT individuals are reluctant to be
“out” in a hostile community, but communities become
demonstrably less hostile when LGBT people are out and open about
their lives. Through an educational approach, a community can
become more accepting. Indeed, Family Equality Council truly
understands that the advancement of LGBT rights must happen at the
grassroots level to achieve real equality.

Ethan Robert Pierce

My name is Ethan Robert Pierce and I was raised by my grandparents
in West Gardiner, a small town in Central Maine. As a rising
sophomore at Harvard College with an anticipated degree in
Government, I am involved with the Dramatic Arts and treasurer of
the QSA, Harvard’s queer student organization.

Coming out in a small town during my senior spring was an eye
opening experience. For the first time I got a real feeling of
where the LGBT community stood (at least in my environment), what
it had accomplished, and what still needed to be done to eradicate
lingering prejudice.

During the spring of 2009, gay marriage became legal in Maine.
During the fall of the same year, a public referendum vetoed this
law. The process further highlighted the issues within my own state
involving queer rights, issues that I have come to find hold true
throughout the United States and beyond. These events also made me
advocate equality; it made me realize that there are so many things
to fix—so many things that I can do something about.

It is my hope that working with Family Equality Council will help
me fulfill this goal and will show me ways to do even more in the

In the immediate future, my goal is to enter the dual degree
program at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy
School of Government.

Andra Oshinsky

I grew up in Baltimore and currently live in Jamaica Plain. I have
always been very interested in social justice, even before I was
old enough to know that term. When I was younger, I thought a lot
about racial inequalities. By high school, I was involved in
diversity work that helped me become much more aware of
institutionalized racism and other types of inequalities in our
laws and our social world.

I have always considered myself to be an LGBT ally, but in the past
three years I have become deeply involved in the LGBT/queer
community. I will be spending my last year of college studying
abroad in France so I feel very honored that my final internship is
one that has such a strong personal significance.

My work at FEC combines my love for social justice, the vibrant
LBGT/queer community, and community engagement. This summer, I’m
spending most of my time preparing for Family Week. I am so excited
to visit P-town for the first time and participate in the 15th
Annual Family in less than a month. I hope to meet you in

Heather Noble

I’m a rising senior at Smith College studying Government and
Environmental Science. At school I do a lot of work with children,
both at a daycare and as a nanny. A lot of the kids I work with
come from LGBT (emphasis on the L) families and it was through them
that I became interested in family work, and specifically the work
that Family Equality Council does.

When I started reading up on LGBT families a year or so ago, I
became infuriated with the way our families have been treated. The
kids at my daycare in Northampton have a great community with lots
of support, and I guess it didn’t really occur to me (or I
didn’t want to think) that that kind of equality wasn’t

Last summer I had the joy of working in Family Equality’s Boston
office, writing children’s programming for Family Week, creating
the first Family Week coloring book, creating a children’s
programming toolkit, and monitoring in-kind donations. The
experience I had in Provincetown last summer was amazing. I’ve
never felt so supported by so many people I knew so little

I have no idea what I want to do post-graduation, but I imagine
that it will include becoming a lesbian mother, and it’s great to
know that there’s such a strong support network available.

Megan Deeley

I am a second-year law student at Northeastern University School of
Law and I currently live in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (or,
“JP” as the locals call it, I highly recommend stopping in at
JP Licks for some ice cream is you’re ever in the area) with my
boyfriend and down the street from my twin sister!

I have always been interested in LGBT issues. Northeastern requires
each law student to complete four co-op internships, starting in
the second-year. LGBT family issues touch a wide range of legal
subjects, and as such serve as a great jumping off point for my
first co-op. In particular, I am excited by Family Equality’s
emphasis on policy, rather than impact litigation, as I am more
interested in policy and legislation than courts and cases. As a
personal matter, I have a lot of gay friends and family members who
want to be able to have families just like anyone else.

Equality has always been an important value to me; however, an
article released by the New York Times last year giving a financial
breakdown of the higher lifetime costs of gay couples really made
me take a closer look at LGBT family issues: