Gay men bring me joy. I heart them. Big time. They give the best hugs, I mean THE BEST. They make me laugh until I cry, and embrace my confetti cannon loving heart without question. One of my best friends, Clark, is a gay man, and he has loved me well for the past 12 years. I am proud to walk alongside him in life, as well as, so many of my other friends that are LGBTQ. I open my arms wide and embrace them for the magical humans that they are. I am in awe of their bravery of shedding a mask they no longer wear. I am in awe of their genuine joy and spirit (and of course sarcasm). I love and adore each of them.
Recently, I listened to the CEO and Chief Engagement Director of Indiana Youth Group speak, and there were several times I was in tears. IYG is truly amazing, their passion and compassion is unprecedented. Their hearts are as wide as the ocean to help the LGBTQ youth of Indiana. In one study, according to the Trevor Project – lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide. They also make up 40% of homeless youth because of family rejection. Y’all, these are OUR kids. We can do better than this. Seriously, there is a phrase called family rejection? OY!
A few months ago, I was asked to lead the professional and personal development arm of the PRIDE ERG, and I was (and still am) ecstatic. I absolutely love this group of people, and couldn’t be prouder to be their ally to help them grow personally and professionally. I get to learn, laugh, cry, and be silly with them – and that’s pretty awesome.
Today, is National Coming Out Day. Friends, today, I celebrate your bravery and courage of living in your truth. I thank you for allowing me to receive love and learn from you.
For those of you that have not come out, I pray that family rejection is no longer.
I hope and pray that each of you have a safe place and people to come out to. And, if you don’t, my door and arms are open to you, ALWAYS.
Love is Love. -Stacy
Originally Written on October 11, 2019