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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the thirty-second installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

I’m thankful to Summer Osborne for allowing me to share a bit of her story here on my blog. She is a bright light with an amazing gift. I feel blessed to have the good fortune of connecting with her.

“I come from a small farming community in rural southern Illinois.

Culture is a throat swab at the small-town clinic.

The head dragon of the KKK lived out on highway 185 by my grandparent’s house – and every year, there would be a rally complete with hoods and a burning cross.

My Southern Baptist church, where I had been born and raised, asked me to leave and not come back until I wasn’t gay.

I was fearful and disgusted. I felt… misplaced.

When I graduated from high school 26 years ago, I moved away and vowed to never come back.

I wanted to change the world, and I thought I had to be in a big city to do that.

So I moved to St. Louis where I knew I would be met with an LGBT community.

I met my wife in 2007, and in 2010 we traveled to Iowa to get legally married, as it was one of only 5 states that allowed same sex marriage. Shortly thereafter, my grandfather passed away and his house became available. So… we moved back to Vandalia, IL.

I have no regrets. Because although there are a ridiculous number of Trump signs in yards all over this town, I have learned that in changing the world, that’s where you must go to CHANGE it. Sometimes you have to go into the dark places and shine.

That is what we strive to do.

Surprisingly, my hometown community has become completely accepting.

Even to the point where, when someone made an ignorant anti-gay comment on my wall, much of the individuals (and there were A LOT) that came to my aide, were from my hometown.

The head dragon of the KKK is gone… now, out on highway 185, my wife and I host a positive music festival on our farm every year to facilitate healing and growth.

Shining our light where there was darkness… because darkness has no place where light is.

Love & Light to ALL of us!”

– Summer Osborne –


Here is a link for more info about the Venus Music Festival 

To follow Summer’s music go here and here.


I have a large private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ+ kids. We have more than 1,400 moms in the group and we continue to grow. The group, Serendipitydodah for Moms, is a place where the members share a lot of support and information. For more info you can email me at lizdyer55@gmail.com