How are those conversations going?
I must admit that even I haven’t had one a day since we gave out the call to action to have a respectful conversation every day with someone who thinks differently than I do about LGBT rights (which MAY have something to do with the fact that I’m always on email, the phone or in a meeting for JTI since all of this started).
Here’s what I HAVE done:
1) I came out to both of my grandmothers.
They’ve both always “known” and been accepting of my sexuality, but we’ve never talked about it. I thought that was ok, but I realized that until I’ve had a respectful conversation with those closest to me that THEY would not be able to stand up for me. I’m lucky in that I come from a family that is very supportive and that is most concerned with my happiness, and has always expressed this. When I switched majors they supported me, when I said I was moving to France, they supported me and when I brought my girlfriend to a family reunion they supported me and welcomed her with open arms (even if Grandma and I never referred to her as more than my friend). However even with all of this support both of my grandmothers are the type of people that won’t say anything to someone about having a gay granddaughter until they hear those words from me. Fortunately they are also both the type of people that now that we’ve had that conversation will address comments they hear against gays with something like “I love my Granddaughter and if she can find love with another woman, I would be happy with that”.
2) I emailed everyone I know about Project Postcard.
Unlike past emails that have to do with LGBTQI issues I did not ONLY include those that I know are part of the LGBTQI community. I did NOT exclude those that might be homophobic. I did NOT exclude all the members of my family. After I entered all the addresses. I clicked SEND without hesitation.
3) I volunteered to pass out turkeys at the Cleveland AIDS Task Force.
4) Of course, I’ve been talking about JoinTheImpact constantly with everyone I know.
I’m sharing this with you because I’d like to provide a space for us to check in with each other. To share our ideas, our triumphs and get support when we don’t know how to move forward. It is natural when we see a problem to ask ourselves “What should I do?” or “What can I do?”. The time has come to move beyond these questions. Instead we must ask constantly “What WILL I do?”. Here is my list, for now.
1) I WILL have a respectful discussion with my family this Thanksgiving about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, marriage equality, inclusion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in ENDA laws, gay adoption, and other topics that affect the LGBTQI community. And I will make sure to ask them how they address homophobia when it comes their way and encourage them not to ignore it.
3) I WILL get everyone I know to go see MILK on Dec. 5 and I will take a huge group of people with me to ensure that opens in the top 3 spots for that box office weekend.
4) I WILL continue to work on my goal of having at least one respectful conversation with someone who is non like-minded every day.
5) I WILL volunteer my time on Thanksgiving to spread the love.
These are just a few things I’m doing in my day to day life, outside my JoinTheImpact organizing.
How have things been going for all of you?