When Maddie Adelman moved to Phoenix in the late 1990s, she struggled to build a community. "It was hard to find my people. There were not a lot of people talking about LGBT issues at the time," Adelman, 50, remembers.
Laurie Provost had been working with LGBTQ youth in the area but was looking for opportunities in activism.
The women met at a coffee shop in 2004, bonding over Adelman's blue lunchbox emblazoned with the logo for GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Adelman had recently founded a Phoenix chapter of the national advocacy group.