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Kirsten Freni

Kristen Freni grew up in a tight-knit Italian American family transplanted from the North End of Boston to Revere, MA. Her father was a decorated World War II veteran who worked in the produce industry. As a fierce advocate and fighter, Kirsten gravitated to her older sister, who became a hairdresser in Newbury and introduced her to a community of gay men she describes as “amazing, beautiful, and gifted souls.” Freni is a 1986 Revere High School graduate with a Travel Management degree from Newbury College. She has worked in the travel industry for many years, but her passion has been in health care and LGBTQ+ advocacy, working with Prism GLBT Health, the Northshore Alliance of LGBTQ_ Youth, and AIDS awareness. She started attending Fran’s in the 1990s and would become a resident of Lynn in 2003. Kirsten is part of the founding group for United Lynn Pride and was one of the original flag raisers at City Hall. She discusses the special challenges for LGBTQ+, technological change, and doing outreach during the pandemic.

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Kirsten Freni

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55:57

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I lived in a tight knit diverse neighbohood.

Kirsten Freni

Dad was a decorated WWII paratrooper.

Kirsten Freni

We valued family and hard work.

Kirsten Freni

A neighborhood girl kissed me.

Kirsten Freni

There were many gaybashings in South Boston.

Kirsten Freni

I felt so comfortable with women at bars.

Kirsten Freni

I came out in my thirties.

Kirsten Freni

We were doing so much good work.

Kirsten Freni

The first Pride flag raising in Lynn.

Kirsten Freni

Kids today don't have the community of clubs.

Kirsten Freni

What NAGLY offers is amazing!

Kirsten Freni

We need to start banding together again.

Kirsten Freni

Understanding LGBT history is essential.

Kirsten Freni

Parents had bad experiences with the Catholic church.

Kirsten Freni

War memories bothered my dad.

Kirsten Freni

I kept friends close and stood my ground.

Kirsten Freni

My sister introduced me to amazing gay hairdressers.

Kirsten Freni

Paige taught me about advocacy and HIV.

Kirsten Freni

My first crush was my sister's girlfriend.

Kirsten Freni

I joined the gay and bi men's health program.

Kirsten Freni

The origins of North Shore pride.

Kirsten Freni

NAGLY was incredible, magical, amazing young adults.

Kirsten Freni

NAGLY went online during the pandemic.

Kirsten Freni

Trump wiped out the whole LGBT division.

Kirsten Freni

We need more activism.

Kirsten Freni

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