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Insides the Homes of Michigan LGBTQ+ Leaders

From Jay Kaplan’s homebody sanctuary to Corporal Dani Wood’s kitchen, how home is more than just a place

By Sarah Bricker Hunt | March 8, 2024

Jay Kaplan, A. Nzere Kwabena, Angela Gabridge. Courtesy Photos
Jay Kaplan, A. Nzere Kwabena, Angela Gabridge. Courtesy Photos

Home. Is it a place or a feeling? For some people, “home” is just somewhere to lay your head. For others, home can be a safe haven — a respite from a larger world that increasingly includes an anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment that has infected every level of government and can unexpectedly permeate any social interaction at any time. Is there anything better than the feeling of closing the door behind you, ditching the jeans and relaxing into the space you’ve curated with one overarching design element in mind — you?

Here, several local LGBTQ+ leaders weigh in about the spaces that help them feel relaxed, inspired, invigorated or just plain cozy. Often, local leaders told us, these spaces are emblematic of triumph and security — hard-won sanctuaries that represent hopeful futures and places to make cherished new memories.

Angela Gabridge At Home Online

I grew up very blue collar and we moved around a lot. No place ever really felt like “home.” In my 20s, I was a single parent and struggled with poverty. We continued to move around as I worked to get my feet beneath me and began to create the life for us that I always dreamed of, but never really felt I deserved for just myself. For as long as I can remember, part of that dream included living in a big, old house, full of life. 

Moving into this house eight years ago was like walking into a warm hug. It is safety, it is stability, and it is the launching pad every day, every season for me and my family as we bash around this thing called living. I was honestly hard pressed to pick a single space, but in the end I chose the living room. We spend a good amount of time in here during the winter, in front of the fireplace reading, listening to records and rubbing dog bellies. 

I never thought I’d be able to call a space like this mine, and I’m so grateful to have it. I live in Grosse Pointe Park with my family plus our pets — two rescued American Bulldogs named Barry and Roo(ster) and one very spoiled guinea pig (Benny the Jet), who has made it clear humans are the only companions he is interested in. 

Read the original article on PrideSource!