At one time there was not a mysterious plague. And then there was.
At one time private relationships behind closed doors were illegal. And then justice prevailed.
At one time you didn’t know how your attractions were oriented. And then you noticed that friend at that sleepover.
At one time you weren’t publicly identified as L or G or B or T or Q. And then you came out.
At one time you couldn’t imagine holding your same-sex partner’s hand in public. And then you grabbed it.
At one time they tried to “change” you. And then you reminded them you are not broken.
At one time you believed most people in your community were on your side. And then they voted against you.
At one time you thought you were a valued employee. And then they fired you because of who you are.
At one time you weren’t political. And then you marched.
At one time you thought your parents would never have your back. And then they did.
At one time an extremely anti-LGBTQ person was in charge of things. And then a pro-LGBTQ visionary was inaugurated.
At one time you could only defend your country if you didn’t acknowledge who you love. And then you could tell, if asked.
At one time we didn’t have nationwide marriage equality. And then it was so ordered.
At one time you thought you would never be a parent. And then you got a call, and you are.
At one time you thought LGBTQ rights were secure. And then new leadership brought back old fights.
At one time you thought trans rights were secure. And then a president, in a tweet, demeaned trans soldiers.
At one time you thought you’d never see an LGBTQ presidential candidate. And then he won the Iowa primary.
At one time we did not have effective ways to stop a plague. And then what was once terminal became more manageable.
To be a member of the LGBTQ community is to know what it means to wake up in a world that looks, sounds, and even feels quite different than it did the day before. In all the way–joyous and heartbreaking, historic and harsh, memorable and regrettable–we have moved forward through uncertain times oh so many times before. We are some of the boldest and bravest, and we have weathered some of the harshest. We have had to find new wells of resilience within us, both as individuals and as a community. We have been forced to overcome, and we did overcome because we had no other choice.
We are now living in a new day, undeniably–one that affects us all regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, class, or any other classification. We will now do as we always have done in both the good times and bad, which is to come together in love and support in order to rise up as one. As we do, those of us in the LGBTQ community can provide an example to others, for whom privilege has afforded a pass from such dramatic shifts in the lived experience. We have a unique role to play, as leaders and visionaries who know how to deal with once unthinkable new realities.
Let us be as bold and as brave as we have always been.