Community is the cornerstone of everything for Helmut Lucero Love Domagalski. After coming out, Domagalski overcame rejection from family, faith and his own self-hate to create the community he and many others always needed. As the founder of The Gayly Dose, the proud father of two creates a safe space not only for members of the LBGTQIA+ community but Atlantans of all backgrounds where they can expand their viewpoints and their horizons.
Why do you think community is so important?
Community is where love for each other is experienced—and where we can ultimately find our chosen families. We need to actively work to get out and get integrated. If your friends all look like you—your race, gender, socioeconomic class, etc.— you need to start creating more diverse communities for yourself out of self-love, at the least. We grow in
love for ourselves as we grow in love for others. Being uncomfortable in a community is the first step to making it more robust.
What impact do you think the Gayly Dose is making?
The Gayly Dose draws our community together through real-lived experiences across all our variations. We explore how lesbian wives make time to connect before they go to sleep, how Jewish tradition promotes gay celebration and how a black trans man served our armed forces and became a minister. By delving into and sharing these people’s stories, thousands of Atlantans have had the opportunity to learn from each other.
What advice would you give to people in their 20s and 30s?
Your entire life is about figuring out your unique mental software. You may not shoot the trauma bullets into it, but you are responsible for removing them. You will repeatedly face your most significant weaknesses until you overcome them. Embrace the work. As you grow, work hard on choosing excellent best friends; they are often more critical than your spouses in your evolution and discovery of happiness.
What do you think is the secret to aging gracefully?
Aging gracefully is preparing your mind for aging itself. Be proactive, have grace with your defeats, but don’t lie to yourself. If you don’t care for this temple, your quality of life will decline.
What’s something on your bucket list?
My third love. I have loved twice—the third time’s the charm. I have had a lot of later-in-life self-work to do—not a simple task for a man of my complexities—and my daughters help me maintain high standards. I will cross love off the list when it comes to me. In the meantime, I will keep burning down the haystack in search of the needle!