On October 22, 2013, I wrote a piece called “We Fight Together, And For That I Thank You.” I had just attended the 2013 True Colours Pride In Education Conference in Moncton, NB, Canada, where I had conducted a workshop and met many wonderful people. In that piece, I applauded those I had met at the conference. I applauded the brave and passionate souls fighting for social equality, and I applauded the educators who stand behind outspoken LGBTQ youth and Allies. Near the end, I applauded the parents who support their LGBTQ children. I am now on the committee responsible for organizing the next Pride In Education conference, and as I delve into this exciting position, I feel that further adulation is due. Too much time has passed since I last extended a “thank you” to the outspoken LGBTQ community, and to my fellow Allies.
Tremendous progress is being made. Marriage equality legislation is sweeping the United States. More and more Christians are turning toward the right side of history, and society is moving toward acceptance. We have a long way to go, but change IS happening. That change, that tremendously encouraging change, would not be possible if not for the people fighting for it. People who find the courage to come out, people who share their own stories as members of the LGBTQ community. People who provide safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, and people who take to the blogosphere and make their voices heard. People who speak and debate on the important issues, and people who speak up when homophobia rears its ugly head within earshot … thank you.
Taking a stand for LGBTQ rights does not come without a cost, or indeed a certain amount of risk. Those opposed to the movement often get very animated in their opposition. People are attacked and children are disowned, and because we understand the terrible consequences, we have all the more reason to fight. The more animated they become, the more we know our efforts are working. Soon, the opposition to this new Civil Rights Movement will enter a stage of desperation, that final pushback as they systematically lose battle after battle after battle. The courage of those fighting for equality is commendable, it is inspiring, and it is praiseworthy. I have never been as honoured to be a part of anything as I am now. With every person who finds comfort, support, or confidence because of our work, we make a difference.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me in, thank you for fighting. Thank you for pushing for better education so that the suffering can one day stop. Thank you for not allowing the thousands of people killed by bigotry to have died in vain. Thank you for your part in creating a shift in the Christian community, as more and more people stand up and fight against the false doctrines that they have been taught. Above all else, thank you for the love you show. To the outspoken LGBTQ community, and to all outspoken Allies: We fight together, and for that I thank you.