Kelly Moye has overcome almost every obstacle she’s faced as an open member of the LGBTQ community, with a wife, children and a corporate career.
Her perseverance and willingness to stand up for herself brought her to a place of happiness, with Deanna, her wife of 19 years, their five children and three grandchildren, and a job she loves at a company that values her experience and integrity.
In honor of Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equality, Kelly is sharing her personal journey.
Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Operations and Investigations in Global Security, joined GM Financial five years ago and found an inviting culture that accepted her for who she is. But not all of her employers embraced diversity and inclusion. At a previous company, she was judged and held back, both personally and professionally, because of her sexual orientation. In fact, one employer told Kelly she was “rough around the edges” because she didn’t wear dresses and makeup to work.
Victories and Struggles
One of the most important battles Kelly fought was for the parenting rights of her twin daughters, Alice and Danielle, who are now young adults and living in New York City. They were born to Kelly and her previous partner, who carried the twins and sued for custody after she ended the relationship with Kelly.
“She tried to take the twins away from me because she married a man,” says Kelly.
She spent several years and incurred significant legal fees to gain custody of Alice and Danielle, a rare victory for a lesbian single mother in Texas, according to Kelly.
When the twins were seniors in high school, Alice was nominated for homecoming queen. The nominees were to be escorted onto the field by their fathers during halftime of the football game. Though the school administrators were familiar with Alice and Danielle’s family structure, when Kelly told them she would escort her daughter onto the field, the administration refused.
Rather than contest the decision, Kelly opted to have her son Alex escort Alice. When the names of Alice’s parents were broadcast over the PA system, Kelly said it sounded as though the announcer muffled his voice to disguise the fact that Alice had two mothers.
“It still bothers me that I couldn’t walk my daughter onto the field,” she says. “But it wasn’t about me. It was about my daughter being honored in that moment and recognizing her accomplishments.”
Open Hearts and Open Minds
Kelly has thrived in the diverse, inclusive culture at GM Financial. After a year with the company, she was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Security Operations and Investigations and is responsible for physical security, investigations and the Global Security Operations Center. You can hear the passion in her voice when she talks about her job.
“When I joined this company, I felt nothing but inclusion and acceptance from day one,” Kelly says. “I get to take all my years of experience and build something. That is the true essence of inclusion.”
Kelly works hard to pay it forward. She volunteers as a mentor in GM Financial’s Global Mentoring Program, is a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and serves as a co-chair of Community Engagement for the Women’s Inspiration Network in North America.
She’s excited about helping to pave the way for others and continuing to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion through her daily activities.
“I want to make it easier for the next generation,” she says. “Open hearts and open minds make for a better world.”