Community Spotlight: Maddie Keeley

Community Spotlight: Maddie Keeley

We recognize that it is more important now than ever to show our pride. With discriminatory and dangerous legislation being passed all over the country, now is the time to uplift voices in the LGBTQIA+ Community. This week I had the pleasure of talking to Maddie Keeley as a part of our Community Spotlight series.

Tell us about yourself, who is Maddie?

This one stumped me a bit because I feel like I am in a transitional stage of my life where I am finding my identity and learning more about who I want to be. Obviously, my name is Maddie Keeley, my pronouns at the moment are she/they, and I identify as a lesbian. I grew up in a fairly conservative town in Indiana where being gay/queer was not normalized or really even heard of and you were supposed to follow the social norms set in place by the community.
I didn't come out as gay until I moved to Florida on my own when I was 21 and was immersed into a completely new culture. I was forced to find my identity on my own and finally felt comfortable being who I was. I found a big group of friends that push me constantly to be unapologetically myself. I dress feminine, I dress masculine, and everywhere in between depending on how I feel that day. I love living an active lifestyle from surfing, to beach days, kayaking with my friends, and enjoying my everyday life while I am young.

Existing as queer person in Florida, and many other places in the US, is becoming increasingly more difficult. How do you remain positive in today's climate?

I think I have developed such an amazing group of friends around me and live in a diverse and accepting city (St. Petersburg, FL), which keeps my hopes up that there is still good in this world. Also, using my platform to promote companies like HumanKind and activist groups that support the LGBTQ+ community makes me feel in some way that I am making a little difference and giving hope to other people too.

Pride month is around the corner, what does pride mean to you?

Pride to me is showing the world that this is who I am and I am proud of the life I live. Gay isn't going anywhere and the love that surrounds the LGBTQ+ community is way stronger than any hate and laws that are trying to take our pride.
You got to help launch our newest Pride Collection, how does Humankind make you feel?

Being a part of the Humankind shoot not only gave me a few new friends in my area, but also showed me I can be comfortable in my own skin 
while wearing a bathing suit. On the days where I am feeling more masculine presenting, I used to throw on a Nike Sports Bra and mens swim trunks that fit in all of the wrong ways. Now that I have found a swimwear brand that fits me, is comfortable, and actually looks amazing on, I stopped saying no to beach days and go to the pool without thinking everyone is staring at me. I am finally confident in what I wear and get all the right coverage at the same time.

Follow Maddie on Instagram here.