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Lower Columbia Q Center
171 W. Bond Street
Astoria, OR 97103
Tessa James Scheller is a retired Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) now working as a community activist in education, civil rights and natural resource arenas. Tessa has been an Oregonian since 1979 and married with Jann M Luesse in 1974. “We have shared a great diverse lifetime together and supported each other through coming out bi/queer early on in our marriage.” Tessa came out again in 2013 as transgender and seeks to support diversity, equity and
inclusion for all queer and gender non conforming people in the widest circles of our community.
“We recognize the value, worth and dignity of all people and our responsibility for creating a welcoming and safe community here. We are more than our sexual orientation or gender identity. We are your neighbor, a wife, grandmother and great grandmother. I have served my country as a teenaged soldier in Vietnam and since then as a non profit board member and publicly elected official.”
“I love singing, dancing, trails, wetlands, beaches, bicycle riding, sailing and hiking with friends. I love my family and this community deeply and will do all I can to make a positive difference in our shared quality of life right here, right now. I invite your participation, questions and fine company in our shared endeavors”
Contact Tessa at email@example.com
Jim Summers is a manager of events and individuals whose entire life has guided him to activism in the LBGTQIA+ family. Jim spent most of his life hiding in a dark closet created by an ultra conservative religious organization.
During that time he married and had a family. His son, Kenton, was born during this 22 years of marriage. In 2013 Jim opened the long sealed closet door and began living his life authentically.
Early in 2015 Jim became an Oregonian after moving here from Arizona. Not long after moving Jim met Franklin Brown, with whom he had already connected with online. Jim and Franklin hit it off immediately and in May of 2016 were married at Ecola State Park.
“After spending so many dark and scary days hiding my authentic self I have come to truly desire to help others who struggle and to socialize with those who have made the journey already. We all have so much we can share with each other that benefits us for our entire life, regardless of age, race, orientation or any other label we can place.”
Jim spent 8 years working in the not for profit world prior to “coming out” and is excited now being able to share the skills he honed there to grow organizations like LCQC. “I love music, including singing and playing the piano, community theatre and being engaged in local arts programs. I love my family and have felt completely welcomed and received by this community. I hope to be able to actively help those in need here in our community.”
If you have questions or need help please do not hesitate to contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRISTINA MAE KETCHAM
"I very much value the frienship and support I have found at the Lower Columbia Q Center and am passionate to live in and nurture a supportive and safe community where sexual and gender diversity are recognized as part of the human condition.
I enjoy the outdoors; the beaches, Riverwalk, waterways and forests.
Hiking and trying to stay trim while enjoying good food keeps me moving! Always on the lookout for my next walk or hike."
Contact Christina at email@example.com
5 years in foster care, 19 years of having my forever family but I was still scared that admitting to my family and myself that I am GAY, could mean I no longer have a family.
I spent the first five years of my life in Michigan's foster care, fortunately I was adopted at a young age into a home that not only took in me, my brother, and sister but adopted seventeen kids and raised six biological children. Growing up I always knew I was different from my brothers but never could figure out why I felt different. I was active in our local church, foster care alumni group, and did cross country and track. The year after graduation high school I was nominated and won the Governor's Service Award for Youth Volunteer of the Year in Michigan. I have volunteered over 1000 hours my senior year of high school. Looking back I realized I was so "active in my community" because it left no time for dating and made me not have to face the fact I was not living my truth.
Fast forward a few years, I had done a three internships in Seaside, took a job and worked in Ghana, West Africa, and had founded a nonprofit to advocate for young people who were impacted by foster care. I decided to do one last internship for an organization who held a federal contract as the experts in youth development. This brought me to Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma, I had come out to my friends and some of my family. On a road trip from Oklahoma to Baltimore, my roommate and I stopped at a Burger King and my mom kept calling. She was excited because I was suppose to be returning to Michigan in a few weeks. I couldn't answer the phone because I knew she would pick up that I was hiding something from her. I decided the best idea was to text her, at least if she didn't approve then I wouldn't have to hear her voice say it to me and hey I was already gone so why not! I sent the text and what felt like an eternity for a response back ended up being the moment I had hoped for. "I have known for a long time, I am your mom. I love you and always will."
Since, receiving that text back I have moved to Seaside, OR and married a great man. Seaside has been a welcoming place for us both however I have always felt like something is missing. That was until I learned about the Lower Columbia Q Center. It is like I found an organization that completes my community, my family, and makes me feel at home. I hope and pray that the LCQC is around for many more years to give that same feeling of resilience, support, and community to others who find themselves in the Lower Columbia area.