Tamara was raised in the Midwest, and lived in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1989 through 2012. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Webster University, and worked in an administrative capacity at several local businesses over the years. She was also active in politics, running for office multiple times and advocating on issues, including anti-war protests. In 2002 Tamara was hired at Washington University School of Medicine, where she worked in the Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group on several research studies, including an HIV prevention intervention for women in the criminal justice system. Tamara moved her family to Gainesville in 2013, after her boss became Founding Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UF. In 2015 she became active in the Gainesville LGBTQ community as part of the Steering Committee for Alachua TranQuility, a community group for trans folk and their allies that meets monthly at UF’s HealthStreet.
Tamara was raised in several Christian traditions but had not been active in any church for many years prior to relocating to Florida. The warm welcome and loving embrace she and her family experienced upon visiting Trinity MCC in August of 2015 made it a natural spiritual home for her. She became a member in early 2016 and was elected to the Board late that year.