A big part of my work is empowering people. I work to empower children and teens to speak for themselves, to feel confident in the bodies, beliefs, and actions, and to create the relationships that they want. I work to empower parents to advocate for themselves and their children. I work to empower coworkers to create the most positive and supportive environments possible for the youth.
In recent months we have seen an increase in people being empowered in the wrong way: to act in hate and fear. I almost wrote the wrong people, but that is incorrect-I want all to be empowered, but to act in love and support of others. Words are important, people!
While many continue to fight the good fight, there are far too many people trying to turn back the clock on human rights. It is showing up in big and small ways-one petty way is exemplified in the experience of my mom and stepdad in North Carolina.
They are as liberal and outspoken as I am, and therefore stand out a bit in their condo association. I'm lucky to be largely surrounded by people who feel as I do, so rarely feel that I am taking a risk in speaking out (though that has been the case at times). They are not so lucky.
While they have moved the sign into the window for now, they have informed the HOA that unless all other signage/flags in "common areas" come down, their sign will be going back up. I can't believe they have to have this fight, but there it is. These small actions-on both sides-add up, and the side of love and equality will overcome.
Please do your part to empower people in the right way and toward actions of equality. This is the only way we will overcome those acting from selfishness, hate, and fear.