Sara Fincham

Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia

Photo: Chris Jones

I am an LGBTQ+ foster parent who has worked in the domestic and sexual violence field for 8 years. 

What prompted Sara to get involved:

It seems that when West Virginia does get mentioned on some media platform (I’m thinking of recently when a comedian whose father was a West Virginian made fun of him on national television via outdated stereotypes and made a joke that was anything but funny), it is to perpetuate stereotypes and re-enforce bias using a very small scope. I’d just like a play a small part in broadening the scope of how people perceive Appalachia. 

What she’d like to see happen during the first 100 days of the next presidential administration:

I suppose at the core of why I’m involved in this is that I want folks to give change a chance; change those hurtful stereotypes, change the lens of bias that people view Appalachia through and change in leadership on all levels — local, state, nationally — because our leadership plays a part in shackling us in those stereotypes and putting up roadblocks to change. 

Sara’s advice for journalists who want to cover Appalachia:

The counter-stories and people that can help break the cycle of stereotypes and bias that Appalachia faces are here, contradicting and re-defining what it means to be Appalachian every day. I’m thinking of how my state lawmakers voted to let adoption agencies turn away LGBTQ foster parents, but here I am, an LGBTQ person, raising children that I did not birth. 

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