Paige Battcher #IamELLA
Paige Battcher, Dana Point, California
#iamELLA because…. I believe that being yourself can move mountains.
It wasn’t easy coming out as a lesbian in Louisville, Kentucky when I was 18. But, I did it to prove to myself that I could be myself. I did it to truthfully share my life with others. I am so happy I did.
When I was younger, I thought being a lesbian would close doors on opportunities. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Since coming out, some of my proudest moments include: finishing a full Ironman triathlon, spooning a live tiger, fundraising for heart defect research, teaching English in Thailand on a Fulbright scholarship, hosting television, building a community garden, finding love and being loved.
I’ve lived in four countries so far and have traveled to more than a dozen. It’s through travel that I found immense acceptance. Traveling is a fundamental way for all kinds of people to open up their hearts to all kinds of other people. I hope that everyone reading this has the opportunity to travel.
I now live in Dana Point, California with the love of my life, Amanda Poynter, and our contagiously adorable puppy Chloe. We are building our travel brand Les Travels. We believe that through adventure travel we can share stories of hope and equality that inspire people to go forth and live their lives to the fullest!
Today is the greatest time in history for equality and human acceptance. It will only get better from here. If you are thinking about coming out and are scared, worry not, for there are millions of incredible people on this Earth: most of whom will appreciate you for being you. Wherever you travel, do so with optimism.
RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME
Proposing to Amanda was one of the most nervous experiences of my life. I had kept the surprise for two years! Spoiler alert: she said yes! Here’s the video and story.