Welcome to our monthly Advocate profile, offering you a chance to get to know some of the folks who hold space and offer unconditional support on our national toll-free Talkline. This month we introduce Kat, who joined the Portland Talkline team in January 2013!
How, when and why did you first get involved with Backline?
I first learned of Backline when they showed “The Abortion Diaries” at In Other Words in March/April of 2012. The woman presenting the movie said they had a Talkline that they get volunteers for. I applied a few weeks later, was interviewed a few times, and was offered an advocate position with the training starting at the end of January 2013. I wanted to be an advocate not only as a way to heal from my own abortion story, but also to be of support to other women going through this sometimes difficult and alienating experience.
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
I am most surprised by the commonality of women’s experiences. The situation may be different. The city they live in may be different. But the emotions and experience and isolation are similar. As well as the need just to talk to someone. To be heard. Listened to. On a personal note, I am also surprised by how much I resonate with the work that the advocates do and how much I enjoy working with women. I get super energized by being around all the women.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
My favorite thing about being on the Talkline is when I am able to say the exact thing that the woman needs to hear in that moment.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your Backline colleagues.
I really enjoy reading Gene Roth’s Women, Food, and God and Tami Lynn Kent’s Wild Feminine as part of my spiritual practice.
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
My current favorite is playing soccer. I just started playing again after a 10 year break. I play on both an indoor and outdoor team and I love it! I also treated myself to season tickets to the Thorns (Portland’s female professional soccer team), so if you want to go to a game, let me know!
If Backline’s mission were achieved and all people had the support and resources they needed for pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption experiences, where would you volunteer your time?
I would advocate for home water births and breastfeeding for every baby.
Thank you Kat for being part of the Backline community!