Mardi Moore is Out Boulder County’s Executive Director. She has dedicated her life’s work to elevating the rights and safety of the LGBTQ+ community and has been active in LGBTQ+ politics at both the local and national level for over 30 years.
Out Boulder County facilitates advocacy and education to ensure that folks in LGBTQ+ communities thrive in Boulder County and beyond. Their work is near and dear to our hearts, so it was a pleasure to interview Mardi to discuss her experience with activism and Out Boulder.
First, we’d love to share a little bit about you and your advocacy in the LGBTQ+ space. How did you get your start in activism?
My activism began at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. I have only a handful of gay male friends that are my age. Most of them died during the onset of AIDS when it was called ARC. I remember visiting my friend JJ at a hospital in Houston and his room was piled high with Ensure cartons; everyone who worked at the hospital was afraid that if they touched them they would get AIDS. I began fundraising for AIDS service orgs in the early 1990s.
You’ve been with Out Boulder for quite some time. Is there anything about this work that most people wouldn’t be aware of or that would surprise some?
They aren’t aware of the one-on-one support we provide to community members. The trips to detox, emergency rooms, and outreach and support we provide to those that are in crisis.
Your team at Out Boulder provides outstanding resources, programs, and services for the community. Is there a specific program that you feel is underutilized or that more people should be aware of?
Our newest program is The Point.
We can place people who are uninsured or on Medicare/Medicaid with a therapist within a day.
Are there any LGBTQ+ rights issues that you feel more people should be aware of?
The State Board of Education is in what seems as the process in wiping out any reference to LGBTQ families in K-4th grade. They may even go as far as to remove any mention of race and ethnicity. It’s CO’s own Don’t Say Gay. They think if you mention you have two mom’s that you are doing sex education. It’s a ridiculous political fight that is harming youth who are LGBTQ or have LGBTQ parents.
In your 30+ years on the frontline of the fight for equality, is there a pivotal moment that stands out for you?
There are two. The first one is when Urvashi Vaid stood up in a Presidential News Conference and demanded attention and funding for those living with AIDS.
The other is the day that Edie Windsor defeated the United State of America. I was working at the NYC LGBT Center and I was her bodyguard as she met the masses. The best dyke job ever.
Finally, what’s the best way people can find you and Out Boulder?