Thursday, July 17, 2014

Who Are You?

Who are you? No really, stop and think about that. And think about what makes you who you are.

Who are you? What defines you? How do you see yourself? And why?

Debi Jackson had to confront this when her daughter came out to her. She was 4 at the time, and she already knew she's a girl. Debi Jackson did a Google search, realized her daughter is indeed a transgender girl, and then moved quickly to provide her daughter with the love & support she needed.

If only more people had the insight and compassion of Debi Jackson. Students like Jayce Marcus, Domaine Javier, & Christian Minard now have to fight against discrimination at the very institutions of higher learning that are supposed to provide a safe & supportive environment for them. Trudy Kitzmiller & Kristen Skinner had to threaten legal action to just to obtain proper customer service at the West Virginia DMV. And Mia Henderson was found murdered in Baltimore yesterday.

And now, LGBTQ Americans must ponder a new threat to equality. Last month, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that caused epic confusion. And now that 5 Supreme Court Justices seem to believe that corporations have license to do a number of things under the guise of "religious freedom", several LGBTQ civil rights organizations have decided to back away from the current version of ENDA in Congress due to its religious exemptions. In addition, they're urging President Obama to refrain from including religious exemptions in his executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ workers.

Think about that. It's 2014. And still, millions of Americans must worry about things like whether they can live as "normal" families, whether they can hold a job, whether they can stay in school, and even whether they can manage to live another day.

Who are they? Who are these people? We are people. We are workers. We are students. We are veterans. We are DREAMers. We are parents. We are families. We are Americans, Americans with Constitutional rights.

Who are you? Are you a mere "political issue"? Or are you a real human being who deserves real respect?

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