"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today is MLK Day.
For people who are part of the LGBT community, I feel it is important for us to use this day to reflect back on where we currently are, and where we see ourselves going in both our personal lives and as a community seeking equal rights.
You don't have to be involved in politics to be an advocate and to speak about the things that matter. Advocacy takes shape in many forms. For instance, being open and honest with yourself and then allowing other people to truly know you, is a way of advocating for equal rights.
For those that are more involved in the political terrain of LGBT rights, this could mean fighting for your own state or vocalizing support for others states that currently do not support marriage equality. It means for people in the LGB community to vocalize support for people in the transgender community who are also at risk of not having a relationship validated, losing a job because of an aspect of their identity, or being kicked out of their home because they don't fit into the expectations that others have for them.
As we continue to see rights gained in some sectors but not others, we must not forget those who are still struggling.
The LGBT community in the U.S. has truly made amazing strides even in the past decade. We have done this because we refuse to remain silent, and refuse to let others push us into a category or label that does not define our being.
The more we are authentic with ourselves, the more we can be authentic with others.
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom." Martin Luther King Jr.