Performer’s Spotlight - Elizabeth McCain
As we count down to our next special event "God Loves You", we took the time to ask Elizabeth McCain some questions about her own experiences with religion and sexuality.
Is it hard to talk about struggles you’ve had with your family?
At first it was hard to tell stories about struggles I've had with my family, but everyone has family challenges, so I think audiences can connect with my vulnerability. And after writing and performing my one-woman show, "A Lesbian Belle Tells" so many times, in which I tell my coming out stories, and my experiences of family estrangement and creating my own family-of choice, I feel empowered.
Do you think your story can be both universal and unique?
Yes, I think all my stories are both universal and unique. I share stories with themes lots of people understand- coming out, loss, love, my search for meaningful spirituality, and my experiences with family estrangement, and healing. As a 52 year-old Southern lesbian, my style is conversational, with a lot lots of characters. I seem to have a flair for dramatic Southern Gothic humor, and triumph over tragedy that I hope makes me a bit unique.
In a way, your story is about found families - ones less about biology and more about feelings. Do you think that makes it stand out when compared to some of the other stories?
Yes, I tell stories about creating my own found family. I think many LGBTQ folks do this, and can relate to this need to have a family of choice. And some straight people do this as well. I don't think I am unique in doing this, but maybe I stand out because I am willing to tell about painful experiences of rejection in my family-of-origin and how I have healed and grown from those experiences. I tell stories from the lessons from my scars, rather than the wounds.
Do you think that storytelling like this can help others find similar found families?
I hope my stories inspire people from all walks of life, to keep risking and loving in creating and sustaining their own found families. I think it is important to stay hopeful and to be connected with our loved ones and communities, especially living in such a busy, stressful city, like DC.