Reasons to Have Pride in 2012, Part 3

We came out, we saw ourselves in media, and we conquered hearts and minds in the last year. From major wins to small victories, here is the third of four parts of 181 reasons to feel proud of not being straight and narrow.



JODY COLE X400 | ADVOCATE.COMBecause it’s never too late to follow your dreams

Philanthropist and human rights activist Jody Cole, who leads expeditions for average folks through her Wild Rainbow African Safaris, says the trips are life-changing for visitors. She should know. Cole, a 49-year-old Alabama native and California transplant, is one of the first American women to become a certified field guide in Africa, and one of the few people anywhere to have achieved that level of expertise about the continent. “I encouraged people to follow their dreams for years while I was doing my volunteer and fund-raising work in San Francisco,” admits Cole. “One day I finally answered my own longtime dream to go to Africa on safari. I had no idea that I would end up taking people there myself. Every time I am on a safari with a group I see something happen to my guests. They go home changed, with a broader view of their place on this earth, in this life. I get to relive my dream over and over multiple times a year by seeing the faces of happy guests on safari.” This year Cole, who looks 20 years younger in her cute safari shorts, is taking groups on five trips into Africa (, including July’s Mount Kilimanjaro climb and September’s Tanzania trips to the “origin of mankind” at Olduvai Gorge. It’s a dream come true, she says. “I’m all about living dreams. Dreams are not for a dusty, dark shelf in your mind; dreams are for doing.”