Some of you may recognize Matt as one of the folks featured in our #AllOptionsPapas Father’s Day campaign from earlier this month and now, he’s the focus of our Talkline Advocate Spotlight! Matt’s a part of our Hoosier team of advocates and has been fiercely dedicated to providing incredible support to clients via our Talkline for over a year. We’re thrilled to introduce you to him further!
How/when/why did you first get involved with Backline?
A very good friend of mine, who is the chair of the Reproductive Justice Task Force at our church was familiar with Backline and thought I would be a good fit. That led me to meeting Rachel Gray and listening to what the organization is all about. This was also around the same time as the opening of the All-Options PRC here in Bloomington. The more I heard about the mission goals and the more I saw a need for open-hearted, judgement-free support the more I believed that I wanted to be involved.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
The belief in what we do. To provide open-hearted judgement-free support in a safe space to a complete stranger is incredibly powerful. To be able to just listen and hear a person who so desperately needs to be heard is overwhelming (in a good way). I love the feeling when the caller takes a breath after an emotional outpouring and I can hear that it is an easier breath then what they had before. To be a part of that centering for that caller is very powerful.
Why is an all-options approach to reproductive health and support so important to you as a father?
An All-Options approach to reproductive health and support is absolutely essential. As a father I have the responsibility to have answers to questions. I want my children to feel free and comfortable to ask any question regardless of how difficult, and I want to have answers and
options to those questions. Addressing All-Options acknowledges that there are no wrong questions, and that there is no one answer. I think is important in the role of the father to explore All-Options, as it shows my kids that am informed, involved, engaged, and not limited by one set of answers or beliefs.
What do you hope your legacy as a Talkline advocate is for your children? How do you hope it informs their futures?
I would hope that my kids see me as an open-minded, open-hearted figure who stands up for those who need it. I would like them to know that I truly believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all persons and that I practice that whenever I volunteer for any organization. I would love it if they model this behavior in their own lives and put others before self, and that they continue to explore All-Options in their everyday lives.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your Backline colleagues.
I often have zero amount of self-confidence. I am often quick to see faults in myself and in my actions, where according to other there are none.
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
I try to recreate in the outdoors; camping, hiking, canoeing. I don’t get out as much as I would like due to schedules but I enjoy the natural beauty of the world.
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?
Sadly, we have a fairly large homeless population here in Bloomington and a large number of families living in poverty. I feel that I would be engaged in action to help those sectors of society. There are a number of other good causes that always need support; LBGTQ and Veterans just to name a couple. Unfortunately there are always sectors of society that need support and I can only hope to have the strength to help.