Living in Appalachia, Elizabeth Elrod has fought to have her story heard in a community that refutes her existence. However, she is no stranger to overcoming challenges. Over the years, Elizabeth has conquered drug addiction, suicide attempts, and a profession in sex work. While hospitalized for suicidal ideation, Elizabeth was able to provide therapeutic experiences to the patients at the hospital through her music. This experience inspired Elizabeth to pursue a degree in Music Therapy at Ohio University, where she wishes to provide solace and comfort to those who experience the struggles she herself has battled. In the Summer of 2018, Elizabeth worked with a small group of organizers from the Portsmouth Welcoming Community – an LGBTQ affirming church in Portsmouth, Ohio affiliated with Community of Christ – to create the first annual Portsmouth Pride LGBTQ Festival. Within a month, Elizabeth organized the schedule, brought in entertainers, guest speakers, and organizations, announced at the event, and led a march of roughly 400 people down one of the main streets of Portsmouth. Later, she continued her efforts to serve her community by facilitating support groups for transgender+ and other LGBTQ adults at the Portsmouth Welcoming Community. Elizabeth plans to use her degree to work with LGBTQ clients battling drug addiction. Elizabeth’s goal is to actively fight the stigmas surrounding LGBTQ people and addiction that exists in Appalachia, and to continue to create a safe community for those people who currently have none.

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