Those women

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You know. Those women.

The ones in the salacious headlines. The ones we talk about. The ones we love to shame.

Prostitutes. Whores. Undesirables.

The ones who have gigantic, beautiful dreams for themselves and their children. The ones who went to college and chose to leave school to care for their sick family member. The ones who were abused as children yet their indefatigable fighting spirit shines.

The ones who take the fall for powerful men. The ones whom powerful men hide behind.

Those perfectly perfect women with all of their glorious imperfections?

Those women?

They’re our sisters.

photo credit: Amor via photopin (license)

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Is this the line for the bathroom?

While many gains have been made for the LGBTQ+ community, there is much work to be done in each of our lifetimes to obtain equality.

FullSizeRender-66Non-gender specific restrooms are just one of the ways.

Becoming a change agent for LGBTQ+ equality in your workplace, your home, your place of worship and your school district are great places to do this acceptance work.

Every ounce of advocacy matters. Especially for those who face discrimination when simply taking care of a basic human need – like using the toilet.

To be the best advocate or ally for the LGBTQ+ community you can be, start by educating yourself.

Julie Tarney is writing an exceptionally fabulous blog – also featured in the Huffington Post – called My Son Wears Heels. Her blog covers topics of gender identity, gender expression and self-acceptance. Plus Julie is a witty, thoughtful and inspiring writer. You’ll look forward to receiving her posts while you learn.

Another excellent educational resource is Diverse and Resilient. Find out how you can bring the Acceptance Journeys program to your city.

As you start educating yourself, bring others along with you.

After all, we are all children of this magnificent universe. Each deserving of equality, dignity and grace.

What if?

images-11It’s the first day of spring. A time to celebrate all that is new. All that is fresh. All that is re-awakening.

It’s also an excellent day to celebrate one of the fresh, modern voices advocating on behalf of equality.

Meet Katie Mattie. A recent University of Notre Dame graduate, author, blogger, filmmaker and most recently speaker at TEDx Notre Dame.

Take a listen to Katie’s TEDx called, “What if Iron Man was a Woman?”

Get inspired by Katie’s energy, her wisdom and her important voice. Enjoy being entertained, especially as she reveals a revelation to her father!

Then, schedule some time with yourself to consider this: what if perfectly, perfect you renewed your commitment, passion and desire to be the change you want for the world?

If you were to take this time of reflection, using one of Katie’s words, that would be “epic!”

Create the M.A.J.I.C. you want for the world, just like Katie is!

Equations

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Letters strung together equaling gender equality.

C=Y=M=K

Letters of printer’s ink strung together equaling racial equality.

Letters strung together equaling one another. Or, in math speak, the transitive property of equality.

What role will perfectly, perfect you play in creating equality equations across the wide ranging inequalities that exist at this very moment in your own community?

Start working the equations, your community needs you!

A SCOTUS kind of love

The goal behind Voices of Pearls was to create a place where voices, thoughts and ideas could be shared.  In that spirit, I am honored to share with you the beautiful voice of Lisa Clair, a fellow Women on Fire member.  With her inspiring words Lisa paints a moment in history about faith and hope.  For me she  paints a picture of the America and the world I believe in.  Most importantly her words paint how love did conquer all this week making 21st century American and world history. Read on and be filled with the faith, hope and love that together we can make positive changes in our world.  Onward!

Guest Blogger:  Lisa Clair

Waiting on history

Waiting on history

I had the rare privilege yesterday to stand in front of the Supreme Court with hundreds of people, gay, straight, and the media, waiting for the announcements on DOMA and Prop 8. Here’s what it was like: in stifling heat and humidity, there was good humor and hope. Rainbow flags and equality flags, printed signs and many more handmade signs. One said “I love my straight daughter and gay son EQUALLY.” Another told the story of losing his lover to a tragic accident before they could marry, but he was there in support of others’ dreams. A third said “If I can’t marry my boyfriend, I’ll marry your daughter!” (This was from a lovely young Mormon man, with a delightful sense of humor.)

There were bursts of chanting: “gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right!” There was singing: America the Beautiful, and the Star Spangled Banner. Whatever else this crowd was, it was a group of Americans, standing together for what they believed was right. There was constant communication using phones and social media. Everyone was on the SCOTUS blog, so they were following justices’ opinions as they were posted, in real time. Then they facebooked it, tweeted it, vined it.

My daughter, who is interning this summer in the Senate office of CT Senator Dick Blumenthal, was released from her desk and told to “go be a part of history.” Other interns were there, too, sent with the same message. There is less cynicism and jadedness in government offices than you might believe. And the crowd itself? Welcoming, friendly, polite. To move from the back of the crowd to the front was a simple matter–an “excuse me,” a touch on a shoulder, a smile. People stepped back, made way, offered space.

Interns celebrate: Love Wins!

Interns celebrate: Love Wins!

Only one dissenting sign was held. One man, who separated himself and stood across the street, had a sign that said “Supreme Court, you are not GOD.” The back side of that same sign, seen the day before, said something about sodomy and sin, but he restrained himself on Wednesday. He stood quietly, holding only the front side of the sign. I didn’t see anyone talk to him. It was his own silent and unmolested protest.

When the announcement finally came, at ten thirty, there were cheers. But everyone already knew. Almost every hand held a phone, and heads were down, fingers rapidly telegraphing the news. Love is love. Love is love.