I stand in awe during this moment in history.
The United States Attorney General, an African American woman, has called North Carolina to the mat for their stance against the Transgender community. This is important for so many reasons, and a lesson for all of us who are considered a minority. It has long been my struggle when I see African Americans speaking out with disdain against the LGBTQ community. As a race of people who have suffered so much in order to gain equal rights and protections, it concerns me that we have a propensity for being homophobic. I feel the same when I see Gay men making derogatory statements towards the Lesbian or Transgender community or vice-versa.
We do not need to agree with someone’s lifestyle in order to show compassion towards them. We do not need to understand a person’s point of view in order to respect their right to have one. We do not need to be the United States Attorney General to speak out against the travesty that has taken place in North Carolina, but it sure does help the cause that she did. In her words…
“Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side. This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time. It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together.”The Attorney General of the United States of America, Loretta Lynch
…and so today, as I reflect on this profound moment of history, I realize that this is can be a lesson for us all. A Cisgender, African-American woman, with the weight of the United States of America behind her, has reached out directly to the LGBTQ community at large and specifically to the Transgender community to let us know that for as long as she holds that office, they will have our back. We each have a voice and our impact can be profound. We have the ability to impact those closest to us. We may not be able to speak with the authority of Loretta Lynch to the Governor of North Carolina, but we can have great impact on our children, our grandchildren and those who trust us. When we hear people within our circle of influence making derogatory comments against a group of people based on religion, ethnicity, age, sexuality, sexual identity, disability, or anything that makes someone “different” from them, we have a responsibility to at the very least, use that as an opportunity for conversation. Our words may not impact an immediate change but little by little we can influence change in thoughts and ideals, which can eventually impact a larger group.