Dawn Betts-Green grew up in the small, conservative town of Sylacauga, Alabama. Her religious surroundings lead to multiple years of suppressing her identity, which caused depression and exacerbation of her obsessive compulsive disorder. She finally accepted her sexuality at 16, after which she was outed and dealt with daily harassment and ostracization. Despite this difficult period, she performed well academically, owing greatly to the love of education and reading instilled by her family, particularly her grandmother (Mema).

Dawn finished her undergraduate education at Florida State University at age 31, with bachelor’s degrees in Women’s Studies (with honors), Religion, and Creative Writing. She went on to earn a Master’s in Library and Information Studies (LIS) with a certificate in Youth Services. This portion of her education coupled with the belief that her hometown public library (B.B. Comer Memorial Library) was largely responsible for her survival as an LGBTQ teen lead to her current pursuit of a doctorate in LIS focusing on LGBTQ young adults and relevant literature and resources in rural and small public libraries in the U.S. South.

Other projects include examining coming out as an information process, the presentation of LGBTQ content in online book reviews, and examining LGBTQ graphic novels (a collaboration with her major professor, Dr. Don Latham). As of spring 2016, Dawn serves as president-elect of the newly founded LGBTQ graduate organization, OUTGrad at FSU. She owes all of her success to the love and support of her partner of nearly 19 years, Anna.