It’s easy to get lost in the political debates around marriage equality, repealing DADT, and same sex couple adoption, to name a few. And sometimes with the media craze and election pressures, everyday people who have chosen a less publicized path of action are often overlooked.
The subtle act of living ones life, openly and honestly, is the most basic declaration of Self. This small action, of being oneself, and expressing a voice, can turn into a monumental movement. As difficult as it can be when the Self is challenged, identity and ideas questioned, and close relationships are resistant, the glory of overcoming these pressures and continuing the journey is success. It’s powerful. And it’s contagious. You’ll see.
For many years I’ve held the manta changing the world one person at a time. I even had it posted as the signature to my email until I had to replace it with a more professional, yet standard: name, company name, and contact information. Today it may be less publicized, but it remains a reality and a truth we all experience and witness. Everyday, each one of us has the opportunity to change the world one person at a time. It’s our responsibility to determine in what regard, positive or negative, we will induce that change.
So how is this all connected you ask?
Our dear friend Ms. Barbie-Q, in response to aggressive demonstrations of intolerance towards the GLBT community, said it simply, “Do you know a gay person? REALLY know a gay person? Because if you did, you would not be acting this way.” It’s true, it’s hard to hate people when we start to see them as what they really are – people. And as people, we have A LOT in common. More than 99.9% of our DNA, we share human emotions – feelings, love, fear, anguish, loss, pain, joy. Though the experiences may differ on the surface, as humans we all struggle at times, and succeed at others. Remember the moment you lost a family member, or were passed over for the promotion at work, or found out the one you loved, didn’t love you in return. Remember? Or what about your first love, the nervous and excited feeling in your stomach, or getting your dream job, or seeing your favorite band for the first time. Can you feel it? It’s something we ALL experience.
We are not a political campaign, an activist movement or a civil rights organization. At times we may look and behave like all three, as it’s often difficult to talk about human rights without venturing into political territory. Rather, we are a group of filmmakers turned citizen journalists traveling around the country and capturing your story. This may be your struggle, your challenge, your quest to be yourself, or the same difficult journey to accept someone else. It may also be the impact of another, and the effect their courageous Self has had on you.
This is the triumph we all share and the story we have to tell.
The Devote Campaign is our story.