New Staffer Spotlight: Caity Coyne
We’re excited to introduce you to Caity Coyne, the newest member of our team. You might recognize Caity’s name already. Before joining Fairness WV, she wrote about public health for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Caity will serve as our Communications & Operations Manager.
Q&A with Caity Coyne
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself Caity.
A: I grew up in San Diego before deciding to study journalism at West Virginia University in 2013. There, I spent four years working at the student newspaper (The Daily Athenaeum) and playing field hockey for the University’s competitive club team.
Moving to the east coast from sunny southern California at 18 years old was a culture shock to say the least. Throughout my first year at WVU, I desperately wanted to return to the west coast and the friends and family I left behind there. Quickly, though, I immersed myself more and more into West Virginia’s rich communities and culture beyond the bubble provided by WVU and found a love for this state that I didn’t know could exist.
Once I gave it a chance, I knew without a doubt that I wanted West Virginia to be my home as I grew and matured. In 2018, I started working full-time at the Charleston Gazette-Mail. This year will mark a decade for me in West Virginia and I can confidently say I have no plans to leave the state anytime soon.
Q: You’ve accomplished so much in your time as a journalist. What are you most proud of?
My favorite stories to report have always been the ones that respect the dignity and authority of marginalized communities. I began my time at the Charleston Gazette-Mail when I was selected for a fellowship with a group called Report For America. This program helps rural communities like ours keep their communities informed.
As a RFA fellow, I was a part of a team that reported extensively on access to clean drinking water in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. Thousands of residents there still live without access to clean potable drinking water. Our reporting shined a light on a rarely discussed issue. This work helped community members connect with nonprofit organizations who could provide clean water.
Q: Why did you decide to work for Fairness WV?
A: Even though I am not an LGBTQ person, I’ve always cared very deeply about this community. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have the influences I did growing up, which included numerous queer role models who showed me from a very young age all the different forms love can take.
I’m especially excited to work on the Transgender Health Initiative. As a former health reporter, I know how challenging it can be for transgender folks to access the care they need — when and where they need it. I’m excited to support this initiative and continue building our online guide to access gender-affirming care in the Mountain State.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I spend a lot of my free time herding my four cats (Beatrice, Plum, Franklin and Agatha), who I lovingly refer to as The Cat Menagerie. I enjoy doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, as well as picking up random hobbies that I rarely spend more than three months committed to at any given time.
Otherwise, I can often be found at the Red Carpet Lounge holding court (which is what I call socializing with my friends) and discussing the news of the day.