Nickie Valdez, a native of San Antonio, came out in the early 1960’s and has always been inclined to the spiritual aspect of life. Her early involvement with the LGBT community began in the early 70’s, at the San Antonio Free Clinic (a city wide clinic funded in part by the United Way) where she volunteered for the switchboard (a hotline for the LGBT community). At that time, the bars were the only convening places for the community in San Antonio.
Nickie as a child with her parents. Through her involvement with the Free Clinic and NOW, she met others who formed the Forward Foundation which organized the first conference in San Antonio for the LGBT community in 1976 called “A Sense of Belonging.” She had also began gathering with other lesbians and gay men to talk and share about their spirituality as it related to their sexuality. The group would gather, pray, discuss scripture and its meaning in their lives as gays and lesbians. Then the group found Dignity, Inc., a national organization of LGBT Catholics. She along with about 10-15 others, about half women and half men, started the local Dignity Chapter. Dignity San Antonio is the oldest LGBT organization in San Antonio.
Nickie has been a vital and active member of the Dignity community for its 41 years of service in San Antonio. She has also been a founder of other organizations in San Antonio, including San Antonio Equal Rights Political Caucus and PRO SA (Progressive Religious Organizations of San Antonio) and worked hard to build bridges across communities and groups. She and her spouse of 31 years, Deb Myers, were legally married in September of 2015.
Nickie as a young adult. In military service.
Holy union with Deb Myers, February 5, 1989 With Deb on Marriage Freedom Day, June 26, 2015.
(This biographical statement provided by Nickie Valdez.)
Nickie died on December 25, 2020.
Biography Date: April 2017
This obituary appeared in the San Antonio Express-News:
Dignity USA published this tribute in its newsletter:
New Ways Ministry published this tribute:
This story appeared in the National Catholic Reporter:
Pax Christi published this tribute:
KSAT.com in San Antonio provided this video tribute:
Catholic (Roman) | Dignity | Latinx | Women and Religion | San Antonio | Texas | Valdez, Nickie | Activist (religious institutions) | EXHIBIT Rolling the Stone Away
“Nickie and her partner Deb Myers are highly regarded local religious leaders in San Antonio and beloved members of Dignity USA. Despite health challenges, Nickie is active in leading the local Dignity group and Deb is a faithful musician. We have collaborated on women’s events, always finding these women creative, spirituality rich, and ever so much fun. They epitomize the heart and soul of Catholic women’s efforts to be church despite the institution’s obstacles. Long may they reign!”
– as remembered by Mary E. Hunt on May 25, 2017
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