Photo of Renee Van Wave

Renee Van Wave

Board Member


Hi, my name is Renee Van Wave. I am 50 yrs old, divorced mother of two children and have lived in the Texarkana area for over 30 years.  I have worked for the Dept of Defense for 30 yrs now in this area.  I grew up in Houston until I moved to this area. I had and still have LGBTQ friends and some family in the Houston area and have always supported them. I moved here in the Texarkana area with my ex husband back in the 80s  and quickly  noticed a big change in how the LGBTQ people here were treated and how much worse the discrimination was. I formed  LGBTQ relationships here. I  lost a very close friend to Aids. I loved this person and it was very hard watching the treatment he received here.

I have two very beautiful children that were born here.  I have a straight son that is very open  of his sibling and loves her very much. I have felt very strongly about raising my children to be understanding.

I knew early on that my daughter was lesbian but I waited for her to be comfortable with telling me. I had already at the time had her LGBTQ friends come to my home and I tried to make them feel comfortable coming to me and talking anytime they needed to.

My daughter came to me at the age of 15 and she already knew that I knew yet she was still shaking.  I knew I would have to stand strong and battle with her the environment, some of her family, teachers, education system all together to accept her for who she Is. But I remember when she came out to me she told me “It’s not me you have to worry about but the rest of the people around us” I took this to heart and will never forget it. She continues on to try to help people and I will always be there for those people.

One of the hardest things I have experienced here is the parents of the LGBTQ children not accepting their children for who they are. I have personally known a few that has contemplated suicide and this is very heartbreaking.

I do not ever want a child to feel ashamed of who they are.

I have spent a lot of time trying and getting LGBT youth out of this area. I want things to change and I feel this group will be a beginning to this and a very positive change.  I do not ever want a child to go through the hatred and discrimination that I have witnessed.

Please support our group and help the change for Texarkana.