This week I had the opportunity to attend a training I did NOT want to attend. I had even shared with my coworkers that I was NOT going to attend. At the time when I made the statement, I felt internally uncomfortable. I have NEVER acted so defiantly in my entire life (at least from what I can remember) and it didn’t feel right.
As it turned out, we realized a meeting had been scheduled the same day and time and we would be unable to attend the training (DARN!). So, we went to our meeting as planned and long story short, were redirected to the training. Now, I am not the kind of person who makes a scene (UNLESS it involves protecting my children), so I UNWILLINGLY went to the training. Pouting, inside and out.
As the training began, I was angry and didn’t want to listen to a word being said. Due to my cooperative nature and my respectful upbringing (which I’m thankful for), I couldn’t help but listen. When the speaker began, she shared a video and a story I will never forget. As a matter of fact, they were eye opening and life changing.
The video she shared:
Ash Beckham: We’re all hiding something. Let’s find the courage to open up
I found the following online about Ash Beckham:
Her message is simple, “we aren’t that different”.
Her approach is frank, “mean what you say”.
Her goal is humble; help others recognize the power of empathy, respect and conversation
And the story she shared:
As most people know, on Sunday, June 12, 2016, a horrific event took place in Orlando, Florida. A man opened fire at a LGBT bar killing 49 individuals and injuring 53 more. As individuals met to discuss this horrendous act of violence at the LGBT Center in Hampton Roads, the topic of bullying was discussed. The speaker shared the story of a young girl, perhaps 15 years old, who asked what she could do to protect herself when ADULTS bullied her because she was gay.
I don’t know if you ever saw the movie Ruby Bridges, but if you haven’t, you should. It’s the true story of a young black girl by the name of Ruby Bridges who was one of the first black children integrated into an all-white elementary school in the south.
I watched the movie many years ago with my youngest daughter and remember one scene in particular, vividly. The adult parents of the white elementary school children lined the sidewalk of the elementary school SCREAMING obscenities, with INTENSE HATRED in their eyes, some throwing things, at a little defenseless black girl entering the elementary school for the first time. I remember how outraged it made me feel towards the ADULTS and in utter disbelief of the ADULTS behavior. For the first time in my life, I think I really understood the term discrimination.
It’s no different for LGBT individuals. WE, as adults, must show compassion and love toward EVERY human being, no matter their color, their heritage, their religion, their sexual preference, etc. Please join me in working with one another to RE-shape our Nation for the LGBT community.