Busch says she lived most of her adult life being “coerced and compelled’ into hiding her gender identity.

BuschBusch is a two-spirit transgender woman with Cherokee and Potawatomi ancestry. She uses they/them and she/her pronouns.

In July 2015, Busch discovered the Q Center’s Friday Night Trans Women’s Support Group. It helped her to feel comfortable and welcome as someone who transitioned late in life, and introduced her to the dynamic and diverse trans-feminine community.

Busch found support, offered support, and eventually found herself co-facilitating the group. It seemed to be a natural evolution – after 43 years in military and law enforcement work, Busch says, “That’s my nature, to be helpful and a guardian and a leader.”

“I see it on the faces of the new folks when they come in, this immense load of concern seems to just lift off their shoulders. Seeing the whole range of people who come to the group, they know that they’re not alone.”

Being helpful inside the group has inevitably led to being an asset to the community at large. Busch was a natural to represent Q Center at the Portland VA hospital’s 2017 Trans Day of Remembrance, and was tapped to give the “ask” at the last Shine Gala.
Northwest Gender Alliance has honored her twice: the Roni Lang Service Award – 2016, and the Ellen Summers Memorial Award for outstanding support to the transgender community - 2019. She is now on the steering committee for NWGA.

Just recently, Busch became a member of Q Center’s board of directors.

And she’s not coerced into hiding her gender identity anymore. As she puts it, “I am Laird and Mistress of the Busch Clan – one younger brother and his family; one younger sister and her family; five adult children with partners, and 14 grandchildren. It makes for an active and extended family life.”


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