Opinion: Causa comes out
“Tonight, Causa is coming out as part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender movement. It’s not easy, but we know that it’s the right thing to do, because immigrants are also lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”
That’s what Francisco López, Causa’s executive director, said at our Coming Out Party last month. The event drew around 100 people to TheSlate in NW Portland to learn about and celebrate Causa’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) work.
Causa is an immigrant rights organization founded in 1995. While we have always worked as an ally with LGBT organizations, this past year we’ve included the struggle for LGBT equality as a core part of our organizational values and work. Causa decided to work for LGBT equality so that we can better serve all members of the Latino community, especially since LGBT Latinos are disproportionately affected by issues such as immigration reform, driver’s license access, and health care.
Coming out is not an easy task. We learned this as an organization and it made us think of the struggle that many LGBT Latinos and Latinas have to go through with their families, who are often in denial, fearful of facing the truth, not very informed on the issue, or simply are not accustomed to talking about it. The pushback is always present.
Personally, I feel represented as a gay Latino because I don’t have to hide any of my identities. I am able to bring my whole self to my work as a Causa staff person. Causa is an organization that allows us to have a voice, not to be ignored or abused.
We look forward to continue bringing awareness about LGBT issues to Latino families in Oregon next year.
The impact that our work has had on LGBT Latinos and their partners is already apparent. During their testimony, a lesbian couple stated, “I am grateful there is finally a Latino organization willing to speak up for us. I thank Causa for shining a light on our family, recognizing us, defending us, and fighting at our side.”
Christian Baeff is Causa’s LGBT Alliance Building Organizer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Este artículo también está disponible en / This post is also available in: Spanish
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