ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Pamm Meyers’ mother really wanted her to become a lawyer.
Meyers obliged by attending law school, but only for a year. What she really wanted was to become a florist.
“I think all parents have aspirations for their children, right?” says meyers, who heads the New Mexico OUT Business Alliance. “I was trying to appease her, and then after a year, I thought, ‘This is just not me.'”
Meyers went on to start a company she ran for more than two decades called Bridal Blooms & Creations in Dallas, which decorated event sites for weddings and corporate meetings. Before that, one of her jobs was handling tourism and daily events at South Fork Ranch, when the TV show “Dallas” was in its heyday.
Now, she lives in Placitas and owns another business – pamm meyers Social Media, which specializes in digital marketing – while overseeing the business group that used to be called the Albuquerque LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
The name change was based on the group’s desire to “be more all-encompassing and to reach out to the entire state of New Mexico,” says meyers, who became president in 2019 and executive director the year after.
The group had grown to 110 members over the past few years but now hovers at just above 60 due to pandemic business closures, she says.
While the group advocates for LGBTQ-owned businesses, it also holds special events, like the occasional drag queen bingo night. It also has a youth mentorship program through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
At its heart is connecting LGBTQ businesses with each other and providing a place where customers can search for friendly stores or services.
“We’re a minority, just like so many other minorities that are out there,” meyers says. “There are a lot of biases. We try to work with that.”
Why is there a need for the OUT Alliance in New Mexico?
“Because of who we are, there’s a great need for it. Lesbian women have it easier because we go unnoticed for the most part. It is acceptable for women to be affectionate, to some degree, with other women. That is not the case for gay men. Gay men stand out more in a group of straight people. And transgender people … get persecuted … constantly. There’s a whole lot of adversity out there that you just don’t always see, and you don’t think about if you’re not in the community.”
Have you faced prejudice yourself?
“Yep. I lost one client specifically because I was queer, and she found out. And so she went to go work with somebody else. She didn’t really come out and say, but I just knew that’s why it was.”
How did you get to New Mexico?
“We moved 7 ½ years ago from Texas. I was born and raised on the East Coast and then moved to Texas in 1979, something like that. And I lived there for 34 years, but for years we would always come to Santa Fe or some other area of New Mexico just for vacation. I had a book club, and one of my friends said, ‘I’ve always wanted to go live in Colorado. It’s my two-year goal.’ And she did it. And another one said, ‘My goal is to be in Florida,’ and she did it. So I said, ‘OK. Then my goal is to be in New Mexico, so I’m going to do it.’ And that’s kind of what happened. I met my wife and told her that was my plan. She was just job searching, just how you know, kind of looking for things. She’s a civil engineer, and she came up with an opportunity in Albuquerque. Two weeks later, we were putting our house on the market and moving.”
“I used to have a friend who, any time I started to complain, she’d say, “Pamm, nobody ever promised you a rose garden.’ And I’d say, ‘you’re absolutely right,’ and then I’d be way better. Don’t start feeling sorry for yourself because somebody else always has it worse. So, really, I’m such a lucky person.”
In what ways?
“Good things just seem to happen. We all worry and we all stress about how something is going to be, and in the end, it all works out fine. I think I’m very lucky that I’ve always done what I love, love, love to do. And I think I’m terribly good at what I love to do. So that’s lucky.”
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be a rock star. I can’t carry a tune. I got kicked off the drill team because I couldn’t cheer. I couldn’t do any of the movements and keep my mouth closed. They wanted you to smile.”
What has been a difficult time in your life?
“I would say one of the most difficult things of my life is when I came out. That was really, really tough. I was 46. I was married to a man at the time, and I didn’t have gay friends. The hard part was transitioning. I lost every friend that I had had. They were all just straight and didn’t understand, and slowly over the period of a year, friends that I had for 18, 20 years, they were closer than my own family, and little by little, they just stopped being friends.”
How did you deal with that?
“It took about a year and a half of just struggling and trying to find friends, find a community. And then once I found that, then it was easy.”
What makes you happy?
“I think connecting people and doing things for other people. Being able to give back because if we can’t give back, then what’s our purpose? At least that’s how I feel. So helping to make other people’s lives better. That’s very rewarding. Even if it’s just a fleeting moment.”
What accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
“I would say raising my daughter. She’s a great daughter, she’s a great mother. And I helped raise my granddaughter, who just turned 30. Running my own business as an event designer. We were one of the top event decorators in Dallas/Fort Worth. And then moving here and starting digital marketing and becoming executive director of (New Mexico OUT Business Alliance). How lucky am I? I could just pinch myself.”