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    Parents’ Love and Acceptance Inspire Empowering Business

    Julie Peri

    By Julie Peri–

    Growing up, I had some of the most accepting and loving parents. They let me dress however I pleased, wear my hair short, and follow my dreams and passions. When I wanted to be a soldier in our local Nutcracker play, a role typically only for boys, they supported me. But in 2013 when I was about to come out to my parents, I was still shaking and nervous to tell them that I liked women. 

    I was dating a girl on my swim team and was deep in the closet. Being closeted was one of the most excruciating times of my life, and little did I know that my parents had already guessed we were dating. I remember looking at them and saying, “So, remember my teammate in college? … We were actually dating.” They looked back at me and said, “We already know and we still accept you.” At that moment, I realized just how much my parents had my back. 

    Their love and acceptance gave me the strength to start my nonprofit, Dykes With Drills. Besides empowering people with the tools to build, my nonprofit takes back the word “dyke.” I was scared at first of the reaction I would get from such a provocative name. But with my parents’ support, and a positive reaction from our community, I quickly let go of that fear. 

    I wish that everyone could have the same reaction from their parents when they come out. For those who don’t, Dykes With Drills will help you find a community. I want to pass on the love and acceptance my parents gave me to every LGBTQ person who comes to a workshop, community build, or meet up.

    Julie Peri is the Founder and Director of Dykes With Drills.

    Published on January 28, 2021