Team Equality Spotlight: Heidi Ward

What is your role at Family Equality

I am Executive Assistant to our ED, Jennifer Chrisler. I manage the
day to day operations of the Executive Office, and represent
Jennifer to many of our external partners. It is fast paced and
exciting. One day is never the same as the next!

Why is family equality important to

I was raised in a non-traditional household. I was the only child
of a single parent in a community dominantly comprised of two
parent, heterosexual households. I faced discrimination and lack of
understanding from many of my peers growing up based on my family
structure. Moving into my adult life, my number one desire is to be
a mother. As a future lesbian mom, I am committed to breaking down
barriers of culture and ideology to help ensure a better world for
my children. I want that to be my legacy. All families deserve to
be recognized, respected, protected and celebrated.

Your background is religious studies. What is one of
the biggest religious obstacles that LGBT families

One of the most challenging areas in our community is the
consistent oppression of LGBT people of faith by those in their
religious communities who believe their sexuality to be at odds
with their faith. LGBT people can no longer be asked to sit in
silence, or hide who they are, because those in opposition are
unwilling to engage in dialogue. We have to be able to agree to
disagree, to move forward in compassion and love toward one
another. LGBT people of faith simply want to be a part of their
individual faith communities that are so important to their
identity. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus was the ultimate
community organizer. He reached out to those most oppressed,
disenfranchised etc. He opened his table to everyone, even those
with whom he disagreed. Regardless of religious background or
practice, we must be able to sit down together over those things
which unite us to dialogue about the things that divide us, or LGBT
people will forever be second class citizens in their faith.

Do you plan on expanding your family with children in
the future?

As previously mentioned, my biggest dream has always been to be a
mother! That has always been true, since before and after my coming
out. My partner and I look forward to bringing a child into our
home. We hope to create an environment where the child feels loved
and respected for who they are, and proud to be a part of our
family. I can only hope to follow the wonderful examples my mother
set for me.

Of which professional accomplishment are you most

This is an easy one for me. Helping MassEquality secure the
marriage victory here in Massachusetts. Being in the auditorium the
day of the final vote at the last con con, and watching two of my
best friends break down in tears, because they knew their plans to
marry were now secure made every hour worth it. I look forward to
many similar moments here at Family Equality Council!