|My age:||I'm just over fifty|
|I like to drink:||Rum|
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Dominique Morgan, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is a Black trans woman, community activist, educator, organizer, musician, and the Executive Director of Black and Pink. Morgan has composed over songs, headlined at Baltimore Pride inopened for Grammy-nominated artist Ginuwine inand is Vice President of recording company Icon One Music.
Morgan was born in Omaha in the early 's to parents Troy and Colleen Starks and is the oldest of 4 children. AsMorgan grew up poor and felt secluded within the confines of her North Omaha neighborhood, and wanted more than what was in her "bubble," but had no idea how to get out.
She felt different than her peers and friends, which led her to rebel.
Morgan's father, Troy, was a former Marine and worked on the maintenance crew for the Metropolitan Utilities District. Troy and Morgan's mother, Colleen, married and began having children shortly after graduating high school. Troy was exhausted and overworked, managing the pressures of a family and career at a very young age.
Morgan's mother, Colleen, was intelligent and funny, and Morgan saw her as a superhero. At age 11, Morgan's mother abruptly left the family to attend rehab for an addiction to cocaine, which forever fractured her trust in her parents. In grade school, when Morgan's best friend got a girlfriend, she felt sick and realized this was because she had a crush on him.
Morgan was dealing with feeling alienated, alone and misunderstood, and wanted to escape everyone around her. At age 12, Morgan was playing with matches in her bedroom, accidentally dropped one, and started a fire that eventually damaged the entire house.
As a result, Morgan was committed to a psychiatric hospital and her family moved into a one-bedroom apartment. While at the hospital, Morgan felt free from her family and met other queer kids like herself. She was eventually transferred to a group home in Bellevue, where she was taught daily life skills and became more independent. When she was eventually released and returned to live with her family, there was considerable tension.
Morgan began singing and writing songs at a very young age and felt soothed by music. She would loudly sing by herself in her room to Whitney Houston tapes, but never performed in front of others.
Despite being effeminate, Morgan was never bullied or ostracized at school because of her gender expression or sexuality. She was popular, funny and could "read" her classmates, so they knew not to mess with Morgan. Morgan publicly came out at age 14 while at the Boys and Girls Club in South Sioux City, and to the other boys in her unit, she was seen as a girl and called "she. When she had to return home, she was forced again into the role of a boy, because the outside world only accepted her being masculine.
Her show choir teacher empowered and challenged her, and she felt a spiritual connection when singing and dancing in unison with her classmates. There she met Toby, a handsome boy who was four years her senior.
Lgbtq+ voices: interview with dominique morgan
Toby was truly an adult in Morgan's eyes, with a car, job, and the independence Morgan dreamed of. Her world soon revolved around Toby, and at age 17, she moved out of her parent's home to live with her new boyfriend.
Morgan's relationship with Toby eventually began to go downhill, with Morgan finding out that Toby had been cheating on her with multiple men. Toby had anger problems, and became controlling as well as emotionally and physically abusive. The couple decided to move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to live in Morgan's cousins' basement. After getting kicked out due to explosive fights, they moved into a hotel, where Morgan was extremely isolated and forced to tolerate Toby's cheating and abusive behavior.
Things progressively became more violent, with Toby pushing Morgan out of a window. Toby began using meth and attempted to run over Morgan with his car. After this incident, Morgan checked Toby into Immanuel Hospital, but once he was released the cycle of abuse d.
With no car and nowhere to go, Morgan left and walked downtown, where she began stealing and sleeping in valet cars. Morgan was eventually arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Because she was gay, her first two years in prison were spent in solitary confinement, though the prison attempted to justify their isolation with other reasons. While with the general prison population, Morgan developed caring friendships and romances with some of the men.
Morgan was released in and was forced to quickly adapt to a new world. She worked a minimum wage job and slept on her mother's floor while saving up for her own apartment.
Morgan's mother was drinking heavily, and she died shortly after Morgan was released. With a desire to get involved in her community, Morgan began volunteering with local organizations and making music with recording company Icon One Music. In this interview, Morgan also discusses the sexual assault she experienced by a prison guard and subsequent trial, her relationship with ex-husband Jesse, and what motivates her to give back to her community. Trigger warning for graphic descriptions of rape, violenceand abuse.
All written materials associated with this interview have been updated to reflect this change. Subject Queer Omaha Archives.
Biographical Sketch Ms. Interview Summary Ms. Interview Notes Trigger warning for graphic descriptions of rape, violenceand abuse. Noise can be heard from adjacent room toward the end of interview.
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Date April Creator Luke Wegener. Publisher University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries. Interviewer Luke Wegener. Duration Output Formats atom dcmes-xml json omeka-xml.