Rachel Lighter



     Rachel is very involved in the LGBT community of Louisville and Southern Indiana where she lives with her wife. She was treasurer of Sienna and is the current CFO of Transwomen National. She is one of four founding officers of Transwomen National. She is also a founding member of Louisville LGBTQ+ Community Coaliton and is also active with Pflag and Louisville Youth Group. She and her wife Barbara have been on numerous panel discussions for Therapists conventions, Churches, Pflag and also meet with other couples going though transition.

     She and Barbara were married in 1996 and raised Rachel's two children. Barbara adopted them in 1998 since their mother was not in their lifes. Rachel came out to Barbara as a crossdresser in 2000 and then in late 2011decided that she had to become herself. On her 50th birthday in April 2012 Rachel became herself. Barbara was wonderful, although there was many hard times. They worked through the hard times with a gender therapist and by talking constantly about what was going on. As the first couple years past the problems became less and less. They continue to talk about whatever the other one is feeling and each still goes to therapy. Things still happen to this day that needs work to get through but that is life. Their marriage is stronger today than it has ever been.

     Rachel transitioned at her work with the help and backing of the company she works for. She is fortunate that she works for a large company that values all their employees and treat them all the same. She has not had any conflicts with any co-workers and has been accepted as herself. She has been with the company since 2006 and started in Louisville and then went to Colorado and finally back to Louisville.

     Rachel and Barbara had a son named Dustin, sadly in September of 2016 he committed suicide. With the support of family, friends and the LGBT community and businesses Rachel and Barbara were able to get through the pain and to continue with life. The funeral expenses for their son were also covered by these same individuals and each one is an angel in the eyes of Rachel and Barbara and their Daughter Angelica. That has been the catalist for Rachel's new project. One to reach out and try to remove the stigma about talking about mental health. Rachel knows what her son was feeling and how far down the black abis he was to pull the trigger. She attempted suicide in 1993 with a pistol and fired, only the bullet did not fire. She went to work like everything was fine the next day. She kept the bullet for years to remind her of that night. Not until she came out to Barbara had she ever told anyone about it. That is why we need to be able to ask someone how they truely feel. To be able to talk openly about suicide. To talk about the affects on family, friend and coworkers after someone commits suicide. To make a differance in someones life before they get to that point.

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