As we continue to get through this pandemic together, Diversity Richmond is highlighting our wonderful board members that make our work possible. This month’s feature is Keri Abrams.

How did you first become aware of Diversity Richmond, and what led you to join the board?

Traveling Interstate 95 frequently through downtown Richmond, I couldn't help but notice Diversity Richmond which at the time was the Gay Community Center of Richmond. When I came out as transgender I never gave the organization much thought due to its name. But after meeting Bill Harrison and other staffers and board members I understood the mission and direction and wanted to become a part of this organization.

How many years have you served on the board, what responsibilities do you have, and what contributions have you made?

I have been serving on the board for 4 years. I am on the Program Committee and work toward programming directed to and for the trans community

What is your favorite thing about Diversity Richmond and the greater LGBTQ+ community as a whole?

My favorite things about Diversity Richmond are the work we do in and for our local LGBTQ communities, the value of Diversity Thrift, and the Iridian Gallery. But most of all the fantastic people that work for this wonderful organization. From the management to the store employees, everyone believes in the mission of Diversity Richmond and shows that everyday with warm smiles to everyone entering the doors.

What has been Diversity Richmond’s greatest moment/accomplishment while you have been on the board?

The greatest thing I believe the organization has done was the re-branding to "Diversity Richmond". The trans community never felt welcomed, included, or comfortable, under the previous moniker. But once the name was changed to include the word diversity, and the commitment was made to ensure that inclusion, the trans community found a welcoming space.

Tell us about your day job, title, responsibilities. What do you like most about you career and how did you get on this path?

I am a motorcycle technician and work for the company that supports the motorcycle safety and training programs for the state of Virginia. I love this job mainly due to the fact that motorcycling is one of my passions and it is a great place to work!

What is a passion of yours outside of your work/career?

My biggest passion outside of work is my dog. My world pretty much revolves around her. She is big, and getting bigger everyday. She is what helps keep me sane and grounded most times. She is an Alaskan Malamute and her name is Shila.

What do you like most about volunteering and why do you do it?

Volunteering is something I am compelled to do. I can't really give a reason on why I love doing it other than "it is just the right thing for me to be doing".

What’s something or a fun fact about you that not many people know?

Something that most people probably do not know about me, I am pretty handy with home repairs. From installing kitchen cabinets, garbage disposals, ceiling fans, and hot water heaters, there isn't much I will not attempt to save money!

What’s your favorite book, movie, or tv show? Why?

I have lot's of favorite TV shows and movies. But what tops the list is anything and everything science fiction. "To boldly go where" get the picture!

What are some things you are doing for self-care right now?

Outside of my normal routine, my day to day life for self-care has not changed very much due to the current health climate.

What’s the best advice you have received and who gave it to you?

The best advice that I have ever received and acted on was when I first started my transition. I had just come out and wasn't sure on much of anything at the time. My best and dearest friend literally grabbed me by the arm, looked directly at me and said, "I know who you are and what you need to do, now YOU need to make that decision and do it"! I made that decision and ten years later I am living my life as ME and could not be any happier!