Betty grew up in South St. Louis with memories of riding her motorbike through city alleys at age 15. She then joined a male biker club for
many years. She has had a myriad of jobs & careers throughout her 85 years. She’s flipped burgers, picked fruit, worked retail & was a hard
worker but at times was discriminated against due to being too masculine. Betty sold real estate when the market crashed & bounced back
from financial losses in the 1980s by reaching out to connections in her life for help & started a 10-year cleaning business employing
all gay women. She retired in her early 60s due to a health disability but continues to find purpose in her life through her advocacy work in the
LGBTQ community, where she is considered an icon. Betty spent many years on Team St. Louis in the International
Gay Games to promote inclusion, She has been with her partner for 32 years & spends her days building & painting benches for her friends.
“I never came out because I was never in . . . My family, with the exception of my father, just didn’t care.
I was just Betty. . . .My family has always been with me. I think gay people who grow up with that kind of
support do better in life . . . My suggestion for aging well is to have younger friends because
they keep you trying to keep up with them & acting younger . . . Making rainbow benches gives me
something to do every morning & gives me something to look forward to.”