Seeing Ourselves In A Whole New Way
With all the gains we have made in thirty years of activism since the Stonewall Riots in 1999, non-gender conforming people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning Americans are still second-class-citizens in our own country:
- denied the estimated 1,047 rights and protections that go with marriage
- denied the right to serve proudly in the military without fear and harassment
- denied the right (in most states) to nondiscrimination in employment and housing
- denied the right in most states to adopt or provide foster care for children, even to retain custody of our own birth children
- denied the right (in most denominations) to full membership, ordination or marriage
- denied the right to be a Boy Scout or a Boy Scout leader
Our young people are eight and one-half times more likely than their peers to commit or attempt suicide.
We are grateful for the progress we have made and deeply indebted to those who have led the way. But we still have a long road to travel.
Step 1 on the journey to Soulforce begins when we experience the suffering but refuse to let it diminish what animates us as human beings.
Non-gender conforming human beings often believe the “bully in their minds” created by the oppression they experience in the world. Mel White speaks to this powerfully in his “It Gets Better” video.
They believe the lie that they are inferior, sick and sinful, unloved by families, pastors, teachers and what they identify as the Divine. Real freedom begins not in the courts or the Congress. Real freedom begins in your head when you believe the truth about yourself. For many of us it means seeing ourselves in a whole new way.