I spend my days working for the New Organizing Institute. I work with some pretty awesome people and I can be myself uncensored in the workplace. At NOI, we teach people about something called “Engagement Organizing.” And no, it has nothing to do with getting a ring on your finger or helping you sort your closet.
We teach people about how to get involved and stay involved in progressive organizing – fighting for the things you believe in. It truly could not be a cooler job.
One of the most important things we teach is that you have to take breaks and find ways to rest now and then as spending every day doing something you’re passionate about can wear a person out. A lot of people have jobs they can leave at the office – but when your job is fighting for equality and teaching people to do the same, it’s a 24 hour thing.
I’ve been tired as of late and just at the right time tonight, I got a little inspiration. I want to share with you a note I got on Facebook that took me by surprise and is just what I needed to move me to the next steps I need to get to. We don’t always see when we’re making a difference when we fight, but know for every letter like this, there are a hundred more that haven’t been written.
10 years ago, I was producing my very first benefit concert, barely involved in the LGBT movement, but doing what I could when I could.
Thanks my friend, for pushing me to the next mountain to climb.
I keep seeing your name pop up recently, and I couldn’t help but PM you.
You probably do not remember me… but I wanted to let you know that you saved teenage-me’s life many years ago.
Long story short, I had been going through a rough time while figuring out that I am queer. A friend of mine had been gunned down for being assumedly gay and I had been considering ending my own life out of fear of having the same outcome.
Your words had somehow convinced me that life does indeed get better, even for gay kids. That I would make it out ok and grow to love myself.
Here I am, nearly ten years after you saved my life. I have a college degree, about to accept a full time position working with special needs young adults, and an incredibly supportive partner of nearly four years. We live together with our insane little cat-child in a small town near very accepting Philadelphia.
I’m a very active voice for lgbtq rights in my community. I proudly perform with the local Freedom Band, and marched openly for the President in January with my partner and 250 proud musicians from all over the place. It was unbelievable, and something I would’ve never expected to happen to me.
In hopes that I can be a voice for that struggling teenaged-me amongst our youth that you inspired so many years ago.
I thank you dearly for your kind words and encouragement, and your fearlessness.