Click here for part 1 of The Status of LGBTQ Equality.
Traynham: I just thought of the word “purgatory.” I was thinking of the word. Could you imagine just living your life constantly under assault, constantly under anxiety. And one would think that you could go home and be in a safe place, but as we just mentioned a few moments ago, some people can’t go to their home or be with their families and be their authentic self because of the stigma.
Carey: That’s right. And you know, I think what we’re seeing in this country — and this is true for many people, not just LGBTQ people — but think about it. If you are gay and Muslim, or if you’re gay and an immigrant, or a woman and bisexual, some of the climate that is happening in this country further adds to the stigma that you’ve already been holding for years, perhaps. So we at the National LGBTQ Taskforce, as well as our colleague organizations, continue to work hard on some of the basics. Going back to the basics — people need food, they need a home, they need a safe place to have an education, to worship. And so, many of our initiatives are focused on those issues. They’re also focused on tapping into the incredible resilience of LGBTQ people. Given what people are facing, it is in some ways astonishing but inspirational that people are getting up every day, they’re going to school, they’re going to work if they have a job, or they’re looking for a job, and they want to be who they are. And so, one of the things that we do is we train people, either by going around the country or inviting people to our national Creating Change conference, which happens next year here in Washington, D.C., at the end of January, and getting the skills they need and building the network and community they need to sustain themselves, to go home and roll up their sleeves and make some positive changes.
Traynham: You know, Rea, I want to focus on that in the 45 seconds we have left. So, if I’m watching this program at home, perhaps maybe on my smart device, how to I get involved, either because I’m a member of the LGBTQ community or perhaps maybe I have a loved one or friend that I just want to be an ally and a friend to. How could I be a part of this?
Carey: Well, there are so many opportunities. And certainly, for people who are interested in our work, we’re at thetaskforce.org. Our Creating Change conference coming up this winter is creatingchange.org. We’d love for people to get engaged, show up, and stand together. You raised allies, people who are not LGBTQ people but care about them and support them. This is a time for us all to be together, to make change together, and to support each other’s strengths.
Traynham: Rea Carey, thank you very much for joining us.
Carey: Thank you so much for having us again.
Traynham: Indeed. And thank you for joining us, as well. For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I’m Robert Traynham.