Michael George is a black, queer, nonbinary bartender in the tiny, historic town of McCarthy, Alaska. The town has less than 200 people during the busy summer months. Located in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, it’s the last community to exist inside a U.S. national park. Michael’s dealt with loneliness, microaggressions, and direct homophobic attacks, but has now grown to love McCarthy because of its vibrant art scene.
Story by Valerie Kern Video by Valerie Kern and Linda Wei Music by Universal Production Music Thumbnail photo by Matt Faubion
Originally from the Central Coast of California, Valerie joined Alaska Public Media in July 2017. She creates original video content for the station's TV and digital platforms while also overseeing the Production Department. Before moving to Alaska, Valerie worked as an ENG Editor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also served in the U.S. Air Force as a TV and Radio Broadcast Journalist where she traveled around Europe, Africa, The Baltics, Australia, and the Southern United States reporting on military events, exercises, and missions. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, backcountry skiing, backpacking, yoga, and traveling.