#PeopleofNEI: Karen, sharing stories to strengthen bonds

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI

This week's feature:

Karen, 72, lives in Fort Wayne and has recently been featured as a book in the Human Library - Fort Wayne. The name of her book is “A Journey to Atheism and Humanism.” She discusses why the Human Library is important to her, living as an atheist in northeast Indiana, and the common bonds she believes we all share as humans. “I went to the first Human Library event in 2018 and I thought it was a great way to learn. I talked to a gay man, a DREAMer, and a blind man. I had no idea of their difficulties living day to day, and I was impacted by their stories. I learned new things and offered support. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this event because it is a beautiful opportunity to break down the walls of discrimination. I was a closeted athiest for 50 years. I graduated in 1965 and everyone assumed that everyone was religious so I lived in the closet about my beliefs. When my brother came out as gay in our forties, I saw how living in fear had impacted his life and the consequences of worrying about being found out. He committed suicide as a result of his pain. We were close and that was so hard. I just loved him even though I never knew growing up that he was gay. I was raised to be homophobic and to be racist. It took me years to unlearn that. It saddens me that I wasn’t there for my brother because of my ignorance. Now, my family of choice are my chosen friends. I have lived in northeast Indiana for 16 years and I am active in FreeThought Fort Wayne that focuses on living ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. We do community projects like working at food banks and helping the homeless. I work hard at being a better person each day because of being a Humanist. There are over 300 religions in the United States and just because I don’t belong to one of them, doesn’t mean I am not the same person I have always been since I was a kid. That is why the Human Library is so important because it allows these stories to be told and allows us to build relationships.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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