I recently talked with Kinzie Mabon (she/they), OutNebraska’s recently appointed Board President, about growing up in Nebraska, OutNebraska, and whether pineapple belongs on pizza (Kinzie says yes, I could go either way).
Kinzie is currently the Field Director for Nebraska Civic Engagement Table. Kinzie is passionate about civic engagement, organizing, and young people. Her biography on the Table’s website says “When she’s not at work, you can find Kinzie enjoying live music and contemplating how long she would survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse.” Turns out, I missed the opportunity to ask how long she’d survive in a zombie apocalypse. Oh well, next time. See her full interview below to learn more about them!
Question: What’s the first thing you tell people about yourself?
Answer: I like to have a good time and have fun.
Q: Where did you grow up and what do you do now?
A: I was born and raised in Beatrice. I was one of five and left for school, but I came back because I felt like it was my responsibility to make Nebraska a better, safer place for everybody. I’m a Field Director now, but I’m a community organizer by trade because I like to lift up young folks.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I’m a big Survivor fan, I love to cook and try new recipes, and spend time with friends and my fur baby Lu (who is the best dog).
Q: How did you learn about OutNebraska?
A: Through work. I was a community organizer at Civic Nebraska, then transitioned to my role at the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table which OutNebraska is a member of. I also trained and mentored OutNebraska’s former organizer.
Q: Why did you get involved in OutNebraska and become a board member?
A: I joined the board in February 2019. I’m pan and grew up knowing that I liked non-men, and it was hard sometimes. I’m also a big sister to a brother who is trans, and I like being able to support him and other folks by sharing knowledge of organizing and nonprofit work in a way that feels good and helpful.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a board member?
A: When I get to table with volunteers. I also like to chat with people in the community when I’m tabling.
Q: How have you seen the board grow, the organization grow, and the community grow since you’ve been on the board?
A: The board has diversified its perspectives, and its understanding of what being a board means is shifting. OutNebraska has started to understand its importance in legislative work. Also in community building, but in my time as board member, I’ve seen a shift from piggy-backing off others in legislative work and advocacy to leading it. The community has been more open, younger, colorful, and a little bit more loving and active.
Q: Where do you see OutNebraska in 5, 10, and 20 years?
A: In 5 years, I want to see us have a large advocacy wing. In 10, I want to see us providing social resources and maybe even have a social worker. In 20 years, I see us having branches in other parts of the state with resources and organizers building a statewide community where people feel safe and comfortable, where people and kids can go and be with people like them, and have actual policy changes that make people feel safe.
Q: What do you think is the most important issue for the queer community in Nebraska right now?
A: The health standards. Not having them puts children at such risk for mental health issues, and they won’t even have the vocabulary to talk about what’s going on with them.
Q: Who is your queer idol?
A: Elvira. She just came out, but I knew. I always had such an adoration for her, and for being apologetically who you are. Her one side is pink and sparkly and blonde, but the other side is dark and spooky. I respect people who can have 20-year-long relationships and then come out.
Q: What’s a good way to give back to the community?
A: Spread love where you can and take care of your neighbors. Participate in civic engagement processes to stop people from utilizing those systems against us, and change them as we can.
Q: First online screen name?
Q: Does pineapple belong on pizza?
A: Yes, undoubtedly.
Q: Pop quiz: Is today (Tuesday, October 19) a bones day or a no bones day?
A: It’s a no bones day! (Click here if you’re curious about bones day.)
Our team is so excited to welcome Kinzie on as Board President!