At the age of 58 Kay earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter she moved from Hawaii to California with her beloved partner John Palmer and enjoyed the next 15 years with him until he died the day after his 96th birthday in 2007. Out of her grief and the necessity to rebuild a life, her book Living with the Stranger in Me: An Exploration of Aging was born.

Her first book Talking It Over: Understanding Sexual Diversity, published in 2001, came out of her personal experience of learning how to change deep-rooted and inaccurate assumptions and beliefs about sexual diversity after her son Steve came out to her as gay. She became an activist, writing columns for gay media in Hawaii, California, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Missouri, marching with PFLAG in pride parades and demonstrations, serving on boards and committees and making speeches to educate others and advocate for human and civil rights for LGBT people.  Her story and columns are in the book.

Kay began writing as a child, winning her first contest by writing a Thanksgiving poem at the age of 12 for her school newspaper.  She was paid one dollar. After high school, she became a summertime reporter for the Salisbury Times in Maryland and full time after college. She left that job after marriage to a Navy aviator, had two children, and when the family moved to Hawaii, she taught English at the intermediate school level. Both her first and second marriages ended in divorce.  After 15 years of teaching, she earned a master’s degree in education with a specialty in counseling and guidance and opened a private therapy practice. During this time, she also began publishing monthly columns in Island Lifestyle Magazine. When she moved to California, her columns were also published in We the People and can be found online at

Kay is a 1956 graduate of Western Maryland College (now named McDaniel), received her master’s degree from the University of Hawaii in 1984 and her doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University in 1992.