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2016
Emily Fay Reese

A Midwest gal from Iowa, Emily Reese was raised very conservatively by her wonderful family. After graduating from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where she played women’s basketball on a full ride scholarship, she got married to the man of her dreams and fully intended to live a traditional, white-picket fence life as a stay-at-home mom, serve in her church, and be supported by her hard-working husband.

Nine years and three kids later, her husband revealed that he is gay and she found herself unwillingly in a Mixed Orientation Marriage with the idea that her husband “chose” to live this way. After grappling with her traditional values and her faith, she decided to divorce her husband, change her stance on LGBTQ people, and find out who she was at her core.

Since then, she has established herself as a high school English teacher to at-risk students in Reno, Nevada, and explores her new identity as a strong, independent single mom, raising her children amicably with her Rainbow Family, and advocates for LGBTQ rights and straight spouses like herself. She runs a blog called SameSides, seeking to encourage straight spouses who find themselves in unique and unmapped territory, and supports LGBTQ people to live an honest and authentic life, so that other people don’t get unwillingly pulled into a situation that causes tremendous pain.

Emily is also a two-time colon cancer survivor and advocate for colon cancer awareness, and seeks to positively impact others, besides her own beautiful children, through her life and experiences.

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