Yesterday was the GLBT meeting at work. It went well, overwhelmingly so, and I am still glowing with pride at having been involved with such a cool group of people, and all of us making even tiny little steps forward. But it was very intense and I'm exhausted. I volunteered to lead the meeting because I didn't think it was fair to ask a gay person to do it at a company that would have fired you for being gay for the last 200 years, and now, and only because of a wonderful merger, has open arms. Suspicious at best.
But it went great, couldn't have gone better. It started a lot of conversations, which was exactly what I was hoping for. (It was what I was hoping for, assholes.) Everyone, mostly people who didn't attend the meeting, in their own awkward ways, wanted to talk about GLBT issues. So we did. We did all afternoon. Very positive. Senior managers asked me if the meeting meant we would be offering benefits for partners, and I let them know we started doing that already. It's strange - management said multiple times how radical this is (I think trying to temper my enthusiasm or manage my expectations), and even an older employee said he's never worked for a company in Upstate that makes a space for GLBT employees. I guess I'm not in Portland anymore, and I'll have to redefine success or progress.
Afterwards I had to leave the office for a while to just be alone. I was just feeling overwhelmed with shame that all people aren't able to feel safe and free at work and in life. And I felt angry and helpless knowing that some people don't even realize that there are folks (like in the cube beside them) that aren't able to feel safe and free being themselves. Baby steps, right? It all helps. We're going in the right direction, I hope.
And then I came home last night and saw this. Outrageous. Another Christian public servant for hate. I've already written my letter. I guess it's a long, long road.