Reflecting on 2017, and What It Means to Be An Advocate for LGBTQ Equal Treatment

By Adam Polaski • December 31, 2017 • 10:58 am

Editors’ Note: This post was written by Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. You can give to the campaign to win LGBTQ equal treatment nationwide by clicking here.

What a year it has been.

As 2017 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on what it means to be an LGBT rights advocate in this particularly polarizing moment in American history.

On one hand, we have come so far, winning victories – like the right to marry and serve in the military – that seemed far-fetched when I initially came out in 1990. Yet this year alone, the Trump Administration launched an unprecedented campaign to erase and marginalize transgender people; three states passed laws making anti-LGBTQ discrimination easier in adoption agencies; and the Supreme Court took up a case that could dramatically weaken the nondiscrimination laws we have already secured.

It’s impossible to ignore: LGBTQ people and our rights are under attack, and lives are at stake. We still have miles to travel on our journey to full, comprehensive protection and support for all LGBTQ people.

As I’ve come aboard the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund team in recent months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what our nation’s political and economic situation means for our movement for LGBTQ nondiscrimination:

In challenging political times, how can we advance our mission? How can we most powerfully demonstrate the burden and harms that LGBTQ people face as a result of discrimination and bias-motivated violence? How do we carve out space for all people – liberal and conservative alike – to create a shared vision for our future, a shared pathway forward?

These questions don’t have easy answers, but as I have gotten to know our staff and spoken at length with our many partners in this work, one thing has become crystal clear: Freedom for All Americans is uniquely positioned to drive forward on all fronts, bridge the increasingly polarized segments of the American political landscape, and build momentum for victory.

I believe in this team, and I know that while 2018 won’t be simple, it will bring many opportunities to advance and challenges to overcome. In these final moments of 2017, will you donate to the campaign to win LGBTQ protections nationwide? Whether it’s $18, $180, or more, every dollar will be matched through midnight and put to work immediately in the movement to ensure equal treatment for LGBTQ Americans.

Years from now I don’t want to hear stories of gay people forced out of their jobs after they introduce colleagues to their spouse. I don’t want to hear stories of transgender kids humiliated and barred from using the restroom at their school, where they should be safest. I don’t want to hear stories of parents forced to watch their children suffer because of who they are or who they love.

If we come together and push forward, we won’t have to hear those stories one day. But right now, I hear them every single day. LGBTQ people are hurting, and the solution is within reach.

Let’s reach, together. Click here to close out 2017 strong with your additional gift of $18, $180, or more to the campaign to win LGBTQ nondiscrimination nationwide. We are so thankful for all who have already given, and we appreciate your support.


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