I met Gina Muñoz 20 years ago at the wedding of one of my husband’s college friends on Martha’s Vineyard. As a Midwesterner who went to a state college, I remember feeling a bit intellectually insecure with these, albeit incredibly kind, Williams college grads.
Sitting around a fire, listening to their belly laughs while they told stories of the good ol’ days, Gina sat down next to me, leaned over, and said, “Hi, I’m Gina. So where did you go to college?” Her question and awareness instantly transformed my feeling of being “other” into feeling accepted into the group.
This is one of Gina’s great gifts in the world – she has an unassuming way of making anyone around her feel less alone, more accepted, and completely at ease. As a gay, Mexican American woman who grew up in a Catholic family in Texas, she has a deep and empathic understanding of the many struggles that face those who are trying to find their place in the world. And she knows all too well that representation in mainstream society does not often reflect who those teens and adults identify as being on the inside and/or outside.
Gina relocated to New York City over twenty-one years ago and has a diverse work background within the realms of law, healthcare, and education. For over fourteen years she has had a thriving solo law practice in NYC. In addition to her legal career, she is the Director of Provider Information at the Care Management Company of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Gina also assists in teaching public speaking at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy.
But if you ask Gina where her heart and soul reside, it is in advocating, fundraising, and being the board president for The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) young people. They believe the LGBTQ+ community deserves a welcoming, loving world, and they wake up every day dedicated to making that a reality.
In today’s episode, Gina shares her coming out story and how, at a young age, she actively chose to not be what her parents, grandparents, or friends wanted her to be. She said, “No, I was determined to be who I was and who I want to be.”
This is an episode about showing up in your truth, overcoming hardships within your sexuality and families of origin, and knowing that everything you need to know lives inside of you.
It is an honor to call Gina a friend and mentor who embodies the concept of learning to accept yourself in order to accept all those around you.
Learn more about Gina Munoz here.
Learn more about Molly Carroll here.