“You have to find your corner of the vineyard—what you do well, what you enjoy doing.”
CURRENT INTERESTS: Native Here Nursery and community volunteer; LGBTQ advocate; choral singer; stamp collector
CAREER: Peace Corps volunteer; teacher; computer specialist; therapist
A gentle soul, Steve speaks with wry humor as well as quiet conviction on topics that matter deeply to him. These days, his focus is on ecology and stewardship of the environment. As a transgender person, he is committed to building community among LGBTQ elders.
My life in these later years has opened up in the sense that now I’m retired, I can go after the things I really enjoy doing, like singing in the Contra Costa Chorale and doing volunteer work.
About ten years ago, I started volunteering at Native Here Nursery in Tilden Park, Berkeley. The second time I went up there to volunteer, I said, “These are my people.” I just sensed that these were the kinds of people I enjoy being with. At first I went once a week and potted plants. Eventually I was asked to be the Plant Fair Coordinator and to join the board.
I also volunteer at Ashby Village. As a transgender elder, I’ve worked with other Ashby Village members to form the LGBTQQA group. Our goals are to facilitate visibility for trans elders in our community and to address the issue of appropriate care for aging people. All the same, I don’t consider myself an activist. To me, doing volunteer work is its own reward.
I’m 76, but I don’t feel old. I live very much in the present. I’ve never been a person to dwell too much on the past or on the future.