Sharing LGBT stories with StoryCorps: There was this hole that I had all of my life
As part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the March on Washington on April 25, 1993, the Task Force is joining with StoryCorps to share real-life stories about LGBT people as we approach that anniversary date.
Today we share the story of M.J. Seide who in the early 1990s met her partner, Marty Jacobson, who had previously been married and raised children. Seide became part of Jacobson’s family and developed a close relationship with Jacobson’s 12-year-old granddaughter, Genna Alperin. Here, Seide talks with Alperin, about falling in love with her partner, Marty.
GA: How has your life been different than what you thought it was gonna to be?
MS: I thought that my life was probably not one that was gonna be worth living. There was this hole that I had all of my life because, I never thought I’d be able to walk along the beach and hold somebody’s hand because I’m gay. But, you know, when I fell in love with Mamommy, I knew that she was my soulmate. Do you know what I mean by that?
MS: I’d never felt that way about anyone before. And um, after she had gotten her divorce from grandpa Jim, she was very upfront with your mom. She told your mom that she was in love, and it was with a woman. And that was the first time that anyone was proud to say that they loved me. That made me the happiest I’d ever been in my life. And then, when I got to know your mom and uncle Justin, I knew that I had hit paradise because I now have a family that I can wrap my arms around.
GA: Is there anything that you’ve never told me that you wanna tell me now?
MS: You know you and I talk about most things. But this is the first time that we’ve ever talked about the fact that I’m gay and I guess what I wanna ask you is, does it embarrass you to have a gay grandma?
GA: No (MS: No) It doesn’t really matter (MS: It doesn’t) It just matters my relationship with you.
MS: I always tell you how much I love you, but I don’t know that you can really understand the depth of it, because you’re someone that I never thought would be in my life and I can’t imagine my life without you. And I am so, so proud of you. (GA: Uh huh) Because you have always been a child that makes up her own mind and, I always knew that you were going to grow up to be a woman that we would all be very, very proud of.
GA: Well, um. You’re one of my favorite grandmas. You do, like, a lot of things with me like ride rollercoasters and (GA & MS laugh) play poker (GA & MS laugh) I don’t know what life would be like without you here.
MS: I love you sweetheart
GA: Love you too.
You can listen to the full audio here.
Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have shared their life experiences in a StoryCorps recording session. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and at storycorps.org. Since its start-up, StoryCorps has:
- Recorded more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 people nationwide.
- Visited all 50 states and hundreds of cities with our traveling MobileBooth, StoryKit Program, and Door-to-Door Service.
- Created the National Day of Listening to encourage people to record and preserve interviews with loved ones during the holiday season using our free Do-It-Yourself Recording Guide at nationaldayoflistening.org.
- Received a Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcast journalism.