Dr. Michelle Stephan, a gay woman, discusses the satisfactions and challenges of life as a gay person in Seminole County. With her partner, Dr. Stephan has found a neighborhood of friends as they raised a son in Oviedo. Yet, she is also aware of the inequality and hostility that she faced being gay professionally and personally in Central Florida. Feature length – 24:33
Dr. Stephan, a 40 year old middle school teacher with a Ph. D in math education, discusses her early career and the decisions that face gay couples as they search for employment in the same community. She also expresses concern for the legal inequality for homosexuals in society and the fight for rights such as gay marriage.
She and her partner, Chris, live in quiet neighborhood in suburban Oviedo, Fl. Stephan gave birth to their son 5 years ago after artificial insemination. Their son was legally adopted by Chris when Florida courts approved gay adoptions. Today, their son is the center of their life.
They have found that their neighbors and their son’s school have embraced their non-traditional family. Recently in the 2010 census, the data show child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles.
As a religious person, Michelle has found great support in her church but talks about the doctrines of other churches that reject homosexuality.
Additional Feature Information
Dr. Michelle Stephan
- Pew Research Center 2011: “Most Say Homosexuality Should be Accepted.”
- The Advocate Magazine
Extended Interview & Pictures
Dr. Michelle Stephan and Desta Horner
Extended interview (31:22)