AE: Right. You canâ€™t be responsible for how other people are going to act, but it sounds like itâ€™s been a great experience for you. Luckily youâ€™ve had a good reaction. So youâ€™ve been getting tons of mail?
K: My God, I get so much! I am shocked at how much. And I get scared, because some of these women, and some men, Iâ€™m getting e-mails from are 19, 20 years old. Itâ€™s a very tough time, especially for coming out. And they are saying to me, â€œIâ€™m not out. Help me. What do I do here?â€ Theyâ€™re reaching out to me. So now I feel like, because I put it out there I now have these young people, this crowd looking up to me and reaching out to me to set the example. And I donâ€™t have the resources or the tools to guide and help these people. So what I did was put a link right on the front page of my website to the Human Rights Campaign. They are huge on coming out. Huge.
So, I canâ€™t help them, but I can just tell them to be strong and really let them know that they are not alone and there are people out there that will help them. I will certainly talk to them about my experience, and a lot of people are asking me for copies of the show because they want to play it for their parents before coming out to them. It is so unbelievable how many people are now coming out since they saw my show that Iâ€™m shocked.
At the time it was about me and my mom, and the cameras gave me that push to do it and Iâ€™m so glad, Iâ€™m so grateful. I owe them everything. But no, I had no idea. Itâ€™s overwhelming.
AE: Yeah, I can imagine.
K: Iâ€™m happy. Iâ€™m so happy that people can look at it as an example and say, â€œLook at that woman who is sick and she loves her daughter so much and it didnâ€™t even shock her as far as getting upset or anything.â€ My mom cried before I told her, because I gave her a card that talked about our relationship between a mother and daughter. And she literally broke down into hysterics over this card, and I hadnâ€™t even told her. I was about to tell her, but I hadnâ€™t even told her yet! It was like, Oh my God, Mom. Why are you crying? She thought I had something horrifying I was going to tell her, but I was like, no. And itâ€™s so emotional and I had no idea about the impact. But now I feel like I have a responsibility. I really do. And Iâ€™m happy to do it. Thrilled.
So I guess the only other thing that I would like to do with the exposure from the show would be to be on The L Word. [Laughs] I just want to make a cameo, thatâ€™s all I want to do. If they seat me in the bar, off to the side, Iâ€™m happy.
AE: So, what next? Youâ€™re studying marketing, right?
K: Yeah. I just have one paper to go and Iâ€™ll graduate. I already do freelance marketing now. Thatâ€™s my job. So I get to make my own schedule and still be able to take care of my son and take care of my mom and help out in that way. So I really tried my best to get a schedule that would fit so everybody could get the time that they need.
AE: So thatâ€™s a career that you plan to stick with, youâ€™re going to continue with that?
K: Yeah, Iâ€™m going to continue with that absolutely. I definitely would like to start helping out wherever Iâ€™m needed as far as coming out and any type of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender issues that are going on. I would definitely offer myself in as many ways as possible to help out. Definitely. Not because I feel responsible but because I want to. I definitely want to. Itâ€™s such a good thing that happens.
AE: You said you were contacting schools to go there and speak. Has anything come of that yet?
K: No, Iâ€™ve just spoken locally. Iâ€™ve been invited to some of the clubs locally, which has been great. There were two clubs that the cameras went to. One is called Bounce and the other is Sisters. And itâ€™s unbelievable. The other night at Sisters this woman came walking up to me and she was shaking. I could see her hands shaking and she was in tears. She kind of like reached out an arm that was trembling and grabbed my arm and I just walked over and put my arms around her. I didnâ€™t know what her situation was, and so I hugged her and she just said, â€œThank you.â€ Then she turned around and she walked away. And I heard that the crew that saw the whole thing before they put it on Logo, they were crying. One was absolutely a basket case, with tissues, and that person is gay too, so they could relate.
AE: Thank you so much, Karen. Itâ€™s great what youâ€™re doing and Iâ€™m glad we can give you a little more of an audience.
K: Thank you. Iâ€™m so glad and I hope your readers enjoy it.