Although it is just the start of the 2008 Presidential Primary
season I have noticed three important trends that GLBT parents can
use to our advantage.
1) Change – Barack Obama has been the pioneer of change and all
of the other candidates in both parties have flocked to prove that
they are also change agents. The American public wants dramatic
changes from the course set by the Bush Administration. Whether it
is anger over the war in Iraq, the decrease in civil liberties
resulting from the Patriot Act, the bottom falling out of the
housing market, high energy costs, a never ending parade of new
scandals or a combination of all of the above, most of America has
2) Young People Are Voting – The outpouring of young people as
campaign workers and to the voting booths is setting new records.
Historically those aged 29 and younger have not showed up at the
voting booths to exercise their votes. This year is different!
3) Large Voter Turnout – Voters of all ages are exercising their
right (responsibility) to vote. America has seen the percentage of
Americans voting shrink over the years. Not in 2008!
How can capitalizing on these three trends benefit LGBT parents
and our families? The most powerful step that any member of the
LGBT community can take is to come out. We have gained more
acceptance in the workplace, from our neighbors and society as a
whole because more people know friends, coworkers and family
members that are gay. When people get to know us they are less
likely to fear us, much to the chagrin of religious fundamentalists
and social conservatives.
So here is the strategy that I recommend. Come out as LGBT
parents and share your family stories with as many people this year
as you can. Most Americans don’t realize the challenges we face and
the benefits that are available to families headed by heterosexual
parents that we as LGBT parents don’t have. Most Americans believe
in fair play. As our families, friends and coworkers realize that
some politicians continue to work to keep us as second-class
citizens, they will realize that such treatment isn’t acceptable.
By sharing out stories we can make a difference in the candidates
voted for by those lives that we touch.
Many Americans are angry at the course our country has been on
and they want a change so they are more likely to be receptive to
our message. Large numbers of youth voting will work to our benefit
as young people are much more accepting of our community and much
more supportive of same-sex marriage. Huge voter turnouts will also
work to our benefit as they are being powered by this desire for
As LGBT parents we can benefit from these trends but only if
others know our stories. So checkout the OUTSpoken section of this
website and take advantage of the training and tools provided. We
all have a lot of work to do between now and November 4th!