Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community

  • You Are Not Alone

    Heather Carter is being honored as a Champion of Change for her work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by her inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.


    Death by suicide is the third-largest cause of death among teens and is a serious problem for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth. It is estimated that 30-40% of LGBT teens will attempt suicide at least once, and unfortunately, some of them will succeed (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health). In 2007 I was asked by the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP) to start an LGBT component for the organization. I created OUTLoud in an attempt to reduce the rate of suicide among LGBT youth in Washington State. OUTLoud is the only organization of its kind operating in Washington.

    Part of the reason I do this work is because I remember all too well my own teen years. I remember the fear of people discovering who I really was, a lesbian, and hiding the most important parts of me. I remember being bullied, and those memories help fuel me through this work.

  • The Ambition to Inspire All

    The Redwood String Ensemble is being honored as a Champion of Change for their work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.


    Music is an audience member whistling "Maria," years after a performance of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story; it is the heavy and solemn silence after the last chord of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings"; it is the united "Call to Arms" of Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. Insofar as music as an expression of human emotion, it has the unique power to surpass the limits as race, creed, gender, and sexuality. Bernstein, Barber, and Copland are nationally acclaimed for their roles in shaping the "American" sound, and their artistic legacy is still a rich source of inspiration for American compositions of today, from symphonic works to musicals and movie scores. It is an incredible testament to the transcendent power of music that Bernstein, Barber, and Copland's accomplishments were never overshadowed by public speculation regarding their sexual orientation. This transcendent potential of music - the implied belief in music's ability to inspire an audience to unite and overlook differences - serves as the foundation for the ideals of the Redwood String Ensemble.

  • Community, Patriotism and Responsibility

    George Stewart is being honored as a Champion of Change for his work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by his inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.


    I am so honored to be selected as a White House Champion of Change. This past year has been revelatory for me.  In getting involved with Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), I have been privileged to work with staff and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people who are making the case that this population needs to be taken care of. I have found an increased desire to learn about politics and have become an advocate for LGBT older adults because I am an older adult. Advocating about the needs of LGBT elders and this overlooked population is so constructive, useful and needed.

    Back in the 1980s I used to work in a hospital and I saw that other hospital aides, nurses—even doctors—treated the patients who were living with AIDS like they had the plague. Some of the aides and nurses would leave trays of food on the floors of AIDS patients’ rooms because they were afraid of contracting the disease. I thought to myself then, as I do now, that no one deserved to be treated like that. I think that’s when I first became aware of how discrimination touches everyone differently, and I it made me recall how I had experienced discrimination in the past.

  • Just Like You

    The Military Acceptance Project is being honored as a Champion of Change for its work ensuring the safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.

    Kristen Kavanaugh wrote the following blog post on its behalf.


    Acceptance is a basic human need.

    For far too long, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have lived with that need unmet. This is especially true of those who have served in our nation’s military. But thanks to the Obama Administration, so many service members and veterans can now take steps toward filling that void.

    The Military Acceptance Project is honored to represent LGBT service members and veterans as a White House Champion of Change. We dedicate this award to the countless number of men and women who have served our country in silence throughout history and those who continue to protect our freedoms today.

  • The Honest Passion to Give Back

    LGBT Community Centers is being honored as a Champion of Change for its work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.

    Terry Stone wrote the following blog post on the organization's behalf.


    I have worked professionally in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for over 20 years and been involved in many worthwhile endeavors. But working with LGBT Community Centers is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Centers are the places where you’ll find honest passion, honest dedication, and the honest desire to make our communities better. And the folks who work and volunteer at centers give not only their time but also their hearts.

    Over 33,000 people walk through community center doors every week. Centers may be totally staffed by volunteers or they may have as many as 300 on staff. They provide services to a very diverse group of individuals: youth, older adults, the homeless, immigrants----the list just goes on and on. They provide mental health services, programs for people living with HIV, addiction recovery programs, computer training, wellness and nutrition classes.  They have book clubs, art galleries, libraries and film nights. They are the Pride celebration organizers. They mobilize the community for our rights and our equality. They help us connect. Centers are the place we go to celebrate; they’re the place we go when we need help; they’re the place we go to come out; and sometimes they’re the place we go to mourn.

  • It Gets Better

    JJ Kahle is being honored as a Champion of Change for her work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by her inspiring video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.


    I am humbled by the designation, “Champion of Change,” and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those heroes—both recognized and unsung—who have laid the groundwork. The greatest heroes of all are the beautiful GLBTQ youth I have come to know in my life. They are so strong and brave and they persevere. They have been my greatest teachers. I thank my partner and my boys for their love and support of me.

    I am heartily appreciative of the President’s statement on his belief that all Americans deserve the same rights and privileges, regardless of their sexual orientation. As an educator, I extend this ideal to the belief that ALL students deserve a safe and supportive school environment in which to learn and grow. In our nation’s schools, it is vital that educators be directed and given the necessary training to insure that ALL of our children, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, are safe and can thrive in our schools. It is imperative that ALL schools, private and public, independent and parochial, face this challenge head on.

  • The White House Celebrates LGBT Champions of Change

    On Thursday, July 19, the White House will honor ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things across the country to ensure safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by their inspiring video entries in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.  

    The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

    These Champions of Change have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of LGBT people across the country, and they represent countless other individuals and organizations who are equally dedicated to equal rights for LGBT people. 

  • CIA Celebrates National LGBT Pride Month

    Ed. Note: This piece is cross-posted from the CIA Featured Story Archive.  

    The Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for Mission Diversity and Inclusion and the Agency’s Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees and Allies (ANGLE) co-hosted a panel discussion of CIA senior leaders as part of the 2012 June Pride Month celebration. The panel highlighted the role allies—straight family members, friends, colleagues, and managers who believe in and actively promote equality—play in creating an inclusive workforce for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) employees at the CIA. The discussion also highlighted the theme of the CIA’s Pride Month celebration: “Inclusion for All, Celebrating with Pride.”

    The Deputy Associate Deputy Director of the CIA began the event by underlining the importance of sustaining an inclusive workplace for all employees. “We need to reflect the nation we protect and support equality, fairness, and justice for everyone in our organization,” he said. “We are one Agency, one organization, one workforce.”