Although I generally don’t have much faith in New Year’s resolutions, it is a new year, and I do plan to not take things for granted, as much. I must say that I feel like I have been relatively fortunate in my life: a good family, great friends, an apartment in a city that I love, and a job that allows me to help others. I do occasionally, as I’m doing now, stop and feel grateful for all of these things. But for me, the one element that is so natural it often goes unnoticed is the fact that I have a safe space to live and thrive.
This came into focus for me, once again, as I continued to read the chilling reports about the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009″ in Uganda. This legislation could impose death for Ugandans who engage in “homosexual behavior.” See The New York Times editorial from yesterday for more information. Even though my government does not protect me in all of the ways I know I should be protected, I don’t often think about the fact that my government does not want to kill me for who I am or who I love. Generally, when I walk around NYC holding hands with my girlfriend, I feel safe. These are not things to take for granted; they are to be cherished and protected.
As the Executive Director at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York City, I have the privilege of working everyday to help make sure all LGBT New Yorkers have a safe, healthy and happy place to go. This is also not something to take for granted. The fact that we, LGBT New Yorkers have a Center to gather, rejoice, mourn, strategize, organize and act is not even something all Americans can enjoy. For some LGBT New Yorkers, in fact, this is the only place they can be who they are and feel accepted. I, for one, plan to fully appreciate this space and use the energy created here to help lift up our entire community into a better and brighter 2010.
Please consider joining me at www.gaycenter.org.
Happy New Year,