Trust your personal compass. Challenge yourself every day to strive to be your best most authentic self. Be kind to yourself and strive to live each precious moment you have in the present and to the fullest.
(Editor’s Note: The following narrative is in Audry’s own words.)
When I came out to my mother, she said she was happy that I had found my way and sad because she knew that I would face pain from those who would discriminate against me for who I am. Through the years, I have been graced with wise and compassionate mentors – ordinary folks who have offered extraordinary counsel – often as seeds planted which blossom years later.
Thus far, my personal odyssey has taken me around the globe. My love of the natural world has sparked explorations from the wild and varied biomes of Madagascar to the undersea wonderlands of the Philippians. My addiction to volunteering has landed me in in varied situations from civil war mitigation to science docent to youth organizer to president of the Golden Gate Business Association. My creativity and craftswoman blood (daughter of a mechanic and granddaughter of a carpenter), has fueled a lifelong passion to roll up my sleeves and make things. And my desire to explore the ‘road less traveled’ has made me a business owner, which quite unexpectedly, brought me into the heart of the LGBTQ business community. Serving as a director and now president of the Golden Gate Business Association continues to be a great honor. I am so proud of the work that I have been a part of through my service to the chamber and its members.
I have seen the positive impact of the chamber’s advocacy, education and opportunity work on countless Bay Area businesses small and large. It’s like magic when it all comes together. It’s inspiring to see a small LGBTQ business win a contract and grow sustainably to the next one. It’s also inspiring to see LGBTQ business owners proud to ‘come out’ as certified LGBTQ businesses. Each story, each challenge, each success makes our community stronger and more visible. Each time an LGBTQ business leader steps up proudly as their whole self in business it has an immeasurable positive impact. Countless individuals, young and old, entrepreneurs, employees and established businesses become empowered to step out and be seen and heard, themselves. Our collective strength is and always has been our diversity. It is the differences in our perspectives that allow us, together, to see with the most vivid and complete picture. As far as a legacy – I hope that I have inspired others to be courageous, authentic, mindful and proud; and to take action and be an active part of the conversations and solutions that shape our world.