Ybor ‘Mama’ makes it a mission to create inclusion in LGBTQ community – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-06-23 05:12:43 –

Tampa, Florida-A staple of Eversity and the LGBTQ community is a living proof.

Known as “Mama,” Carol Steen’s mission was to ensure that everyone could safely call home.

Her infectious laughter warms her heart and her acceptance fills her soul.

“As an adult, I had a gay friend, but I didn’t talk much about it at the time,” Steen said.

It is that connection that has created endless acceptance and compassion for those who are separated from it for their loved ones.

“I was the only one doing what I felt was right. I never thought it would affect someone’s life,” Steen said.

Carol Steen

One of those lives touched is CJ Raimondi.

When I first moved to Tampa 11 years ago, my friend introduced me to these two. He lost his mother in 2003, but found his mother in Steen.

“You know there was a connection at that moment. When she was in the room, you felt safe around her,” Raimondi said. “I went in and played the jukebox, but all her favorite songs were mine, so I played without knowing it.”

The bartender’s conversion to a real estate agent left her mark on the lives of Eber and the people around him.

“We are all looking for it because we are starting our lives knowing that we are unacceptable, and you always have this one who is there. We are always accepting,” Raimondi said. Said.

For Steen, it’s a little easier.

“It’s great to thank you because you get more hugs,” Steen said.

Steen has six biological children, but there are endless “children” she took under her wings and taken home.

Every year, following the tradition of ensuring that everyone is loved and welcomed, she holds open invitations to Thanksgiving and Christmas Suppers.

Carol Steen3.png

Carol Steen

She said it started with about 20 people and grew to more than 100 people.

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