Welcome to Seven Minutes in Heaven, GO Magazine’s interview series that profiles a different queer babe each day, by asking them seven unique (and sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.
If you are a person who uses the internet (hi!) then you’ve probably seen the viral video of a woman, Lori Interlicchio, surprising her girlfriend, Alana Duran, with a kidney. This video took the internet by storm as everyone collectively went AWWWWW. Now, their journey is featured in a full length Fuse documentary called Bean.
Lori is a law student hoping to practice in Washington D.C. I went to high school with Lori and I know she has always been passionate, selfless and politically involved. She started a petition to make a school rule against using the word “f*ggot.” (Before that, kids literally called each other that all day with no repercussions. Ah, Long Island.) In senior superlatives, Lori was voted most likely to be president.
Rightfully so, the internet is obsessed with the fact that Lori donated her kidney to Alana and their beautiful relationship, but I wanted to learn more about Lori individually.
GO had the pleasure of chatting with law student, documentary star, kidney donor Lori Interlicchio.
GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?
Lori Interlicchio: I’m a retired middle school cheerleading coach and a law student at the University of Michigan. I’m also the subject of a documentary, “Bean,” about my partner Alana and I and our journey with organ donation. I surprised Alana last year with news that I could donate my kidney to her, and a director reached out and asked if she could make a movie about it. The donation and the project was a big part of our lives because the kidney has significantly improved Alana’s health. She followed me to Michigan from Long Island, NY, and now we are raising a gorgeous blue heeler puppy named Calpurnia together. After I graduate, I’m planning to practice law in Washington, D.C. and then see where our careers or Alana’s education take us.
GO: What is the driving force behind your activism?
LI: With regard to donating my kidney and trying to get others to sign up as organ donors, I’m motivated by how easy and sensible it is. It’s fascinating to me that we can actually do that. Humans have enough parts that we don’t need and we can donate them so that people don’t have to die on a waiting list. We can actually recycle ourselves and save lives. That’s amazing! But on another level, I’m motivated by how efficient it is. I think this is the easiest way to help someone a lot. In all seriousness, I took about six weeks off of work to recover and my life hasn’t changed at all. And as a result of that, Alana’s kidney works. It’s insane to think I was ever not sure I wanted to do it.
GO: Who are your biggest queer lady role models?
LI: I am super lucky to have a ton of queer lady role models. I used to be the LGBT Outreach intern for the White House Office of Public Engagement and I had two incredible queer ladies for bosses. They were excellent mentors and helped me develop professional skills. They also pushed me towards pursuing my passion by encouraging me to go to law school instead of taking a job that I didn’t want in order to pay the bills. I also really look up to Alana’s gay grandmas. They’re both badass academics who managed to be out and proud in the 1970s. Oh, and also, I want to be Kate McKinnon when I grow up.
GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?
LI: The University of Michigan Law School has a reading room that looks like it’s straight out of Hogwarts. When I look up at the ceiling, I instantly remember how lucky I am to have the privilege of sitting in a library and learning all day. If I need a pick-me-up, I put in headphones and jam out to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan.
GO: Describe your style in three words.
LI: What’s clean today?
GO: What music are you listening to right now?
LI: Mostly older stuff. A lot of Sam Cooke and The Drifters.
GO: How can people find you?