Ed Oliver Headshot

I am a native of Mississippi who just entered the fourth quarter of my allotted time in this dimension of creation. Growing up going to segregated schools with a "terrible" secret that had me afraid to be me, I could not wait to flee this state in my early twenties where I could "sort of" live out and proud. This was in the early seventies when Pride was in it's infancy but Denver, Colorado, was a little more tolerant than Jackson, MS. I lived there until the mid eighties before I was transferred by the Hilton Corporation from the Denver Hilton to the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City for a few years until I moved back to Denver before ultimately moving back home to Mississippi where my family and friends had become aware of my sexuality and embraced it either happily or grudingly. The return to my "roots" is a story best shared over a bottle of Grey Goose and a carton of cigartetts, a la Bette Davis. 

During a mid-life crisis precipitated by my father's death and the amazing care the Home Hospice personnel provided to him and to my sister and me, I found myself enrolling in Nursing School at the ripe old age of fifty. The call to minister to the sick and dying was deeply personal and part of the spiritual journey I began when my life fell apart in Denver. 

I became a nurse and worked with GYN Oncology, Urology, Endocrinology and surgery patients. Caring for these amazing women whether it was holding their hands as they faced their own mortality or wheeling them happily out of the hospital after an "all clear" cancer diagnosis nursing was the career I felt God wanted me to do in my pre-Golden Years. I retired four years ago and have since been engaged in volunteer work for Hospice Ministries, various programs at my church and spending time with the family and friends I had once hidden from as well as new friends I've met since my return. 

Serving on the Board of ACLU-MS for the past few years has given me the opportunity to see the "inner workings" of an organization dedicated to the freedom and rights we are all entitled to per the Constitution but have been denied to many.