Skip to content
Not Another Second: LGBT+ seniors share their stories Not Another Second: LGBT+ seniors share their stories
 

Reverend Goddess Magora Kennedy, 81 31 Years Lost

Reverend Kennedy knows that the path to freedom and acceptance is not easy. Once a tomboy who chased girls in upstate New York, Reverend Kennedy was forced to marry a man at age 14. Her mother thought such a marriage would “cure” her. Her mother was wrong. Being black, lesbian and a woman of the church made Reverend Kennedy’s journey an uphill battle all the way, but she has never stopped fighting for her rights. From rejecting rules enforced by her mother to participating in the Stonewall Uprising, Reverend Kennedy only became more resolute. She has been out and proud as a lesbian for more than 50 years now. Her extensive work in civil rights continues to inspire younger generations.

Being a lesbian, and being involved in things like the civil rights movement and now the struggle with gay rights, and being a senior, it has been quite a learning experience and I am so happy to see how far we’ve come, but we still have a long way to go.

— Reverend Kennedy

My mother was mortified. I was an only child, and she just decided that the best thing to do to cure, so-called cure, was to get married. So I got married at 14 years of age.

— Reverend Kennedy

Reverend Magora Kennedy looking thoughtfully into the distance.

This was the night that everybody said enough was enough, and they weren’t taking it anymore. We didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of the gay rights movement.

— Reverend Kennedy, on the Stonewall Uprising