Connect with us

Advocacy: A Vision For The GLBT Community In The Heart Of Dixie

Published

on

Editor’s note: Guest author James Robinson lives in Huntsville, Alabama. He is Executive Director and founder of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc.

As I began a journey of recovery from addiction to crystal methamphetamine, I needed to understand why I had experienced the pain which contributed to my addiction. I began to understand that a large part of my pain stemmed from hiding my sexual orientation. Due to the dominant conservative political and religious traditions in the South I did not feel I would be accepted living publicly as a gay man.

The lies associated with hiding my sexual orientation ate away at my spirit and I found myself very unhappy. Without realizing what I was doing I began looking for ways to feel more accepted. This led to a second hidden life, one consumed with the self-destructive behaviors associated with addiction.

There is a saying, “The closet kills.” I believe many members of our community kill themselves through addiction because of the pain they feel from not being free to be themselves. Segments of the gay community are deeply entrenched in this lifestyle. I was fortunate to survive this period in my life while many do not. Many lives are lost because people do not feel free to be themselves.

The addiction and self-destruction I experienced were very selfish behaviors. I decided to stop focusing on myself and to create opportunities for others that will help them avoid the pain and terrible choices I experienced.

With the support of friends I began a non-profit organization to serve the GLBT community in Alabama. When I began GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. there were almost no services available to our community in this region. I am happy to say that because of this agency there are now a number of support groups and other activities.

GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services strives to provide support services and raise awareness about issues specific to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. This mission is accomplished through the administration of peer support groups, use of social media, and by cultivating a united voice on issues such as bullying, AIDS/HIV infection, drug abuse, suicide, homelessness, and the sexual exploitation of youth.

I have seen hope given and I have witnessed it being taken away. We share a message of love and acceptance with a community that fears rejection, violence, and oppression if their sexual orientation or gender identity is known publicly. We strive to give hope where it has been lost.

GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services has been nominated for two Classy Awards:

New Nonprofit in Huntsville Supports GLBTQ Youth & Works to Prevent Homelessness

Grassroots Organization Established to Serve the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community

GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services is online and on Facebook.

 

James Robinson lives in Huntsville, Alabama. He is Executive Director and founder of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. He is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following a career as a Special Education teacher he is now an advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in Alabama and elsewhere.

In March 2011, he was named one of five people transforming five communities by Civic Ventures’ Encore Careers Launch Pad contest.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

OPINION

‘Snooze Fest’: Internet Mocks Trump’s ‘Extremely Boring’ and ‘Low Energy’ CPAC Speech

Published

on

White Nationalist One-Term Twice-Impeached Former US President Speaks to Right Wing Group From Nazi-Inspired Stage

For the first time since he incited an insurrection last month the disgraced former American president, Donald Trump, on Sunday delivered what many are calling a “low-energy” and “extremely boring” speech to attendees of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Orlando, Florida late Sunday afternoon.

The ex-president, who started his speech 100 minutes late, looked and sounded far older than he did on January 6, attacking President Joe Biden and insisting that his five weeks performance should be enough for “Democrats to lose the White House” in 2024.

“Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House,” Trump told supporters, adding: “I may even decide to beat them for a third time, who knows?”

The crowd, a mostly over-50 group of white Americans, roared, even though Trump has won only one election, and never the popular vote.

Trump’s speech was very similar to his past stump speeches, filled with racism, white nationalism, and lies about his opponents and the 2020 election that he lost – which he continues to refuse to admit. The “fake news” media, transgender people, and NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci were also the target of his attacks.

He also tried to re-instill the perceived victimization of conservatives that fueled his presidency, claiming for example that Americans will no longer be able to hire attorneys because undocumented immigrants are taking them all away from U.S. citizens, which is a lie.

Other lies included that wind energy is bad for the environment,

Some responses:

 

Continue Reading

'POLICY WASTELAND'

Trump Has Left Behind a Republican Party Almost as ‘Toxic’ as He Is: GOP Adviser

Published

on

According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump may no longer be president but the Republican Party he left behind has been damaged to the point where it has almost become as “toxic” as he is to voters, according to one former top aide to a Republican senator.

As the report notes, high-profile members of the Republican party are still pushing Trump’s “Big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him and have made that their focus going forward in lieu of proposing new policies that would allow them to win back the White House and both chambers on Congress.

Writing for Politico, David Siders explained, “Nearly four months after the election and one month into Joe Biden’s presidency, the politics of grievance has become the near-singular organizing principle of the post-Trump GOP. And whether at CPAC or in statehouses across the country, policy prescriptions for restoring so-called voter integrity have emerged as the primary focus of the party’s energy.”

That focus on stopping people from voting could blow up in their faces, but worse still, it means they have no other message for voters other than the fact that they are lingering on Trump’s loss.

Benjamin Ginsberg, a conservative election lawyer asked, “Tell me what the innovative Republican policies have been of late?” before adding it is “probably a sign that the Republican Party is mired in a bit of a policy wasteland and doesn’t know which way to turn to get out.”

According to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, there is no evidence of widespread election fraud and Republicans harping on it is, “a big distraction. And I worry that it will continue to be a big distraction as long as a certain individual makes statements that it was stolen.”

Former Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) adviser Kevin Madden was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

“It is a party that has been fashioned in the mold of Trump — Trump’s message, Trump’s tactics — and it is perfectly comfortable being a party that is defined by what it’s against,” he explained before adding, “… you become almost toxic as a party brand to larger, growing parts of the electorate. … The limitation of a message and a platform that’s just about disagreeing with the opposition is that it doesn’t speak to the broader concerns or anxieties of a big part of the electorate.”

You can read more here.

Continue Reading

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Matt Schlapp Lashes Out at Critics of CPAC’s Nazi Symbol Stage Design

Published

on

The head of the Conservative Political Action Committee on Saturday attacked critics noting CPAC’s stage looks like a Nazi symbol.

Matt Schlapp made his denial after “Nazi” trended nationwide on Twitter as users discussed the stage looking like an Odal rune symbol.

Schlapp, however, did not apologize. Instead he said, “stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.