This week I attended a VIP Dinner and day of seminars and co-hosted a cocktail reception and networking event for dot429. As you can see above, dot429 is a network and an online magazine that connects the LGBT community with invaluable straight allies. As one of their new founding members, I hope to enhance the connection and bring on new active and passionate straight allies.
At the event, I found myself explaining to others the spectrum of respect and alliance. To be an ally is to respect and embrace the LGBT community, but it also takes action. If we, as straight supporters, just say "Yes, I support equality and rights for the LGBT community," but if we don't actually DO anything about it, then we are no help at all. Advocacy takes action - proactive gestures and actions that help society and our laws progress.
The event was inspiring because of the people I met and the conversations that we had together. A major point of the "Straight Talk" event was to open dialogue about LGBTA people in Politics & Current Events (Lt. Dan Choi, Kerry Eleveld), Entertainment & Media (Andy Cohen, Lisa Sherman, Jane Velez-Mitchell), and Fashion & Design (Suzanne Johnson - Saks Fifth Avenue, Simon Doonan - Barney's). They also stressed the importance of authenticity - being yourself with confidence in the workplace and our communities - something I could speak to and completely support.
|Lt. Dan Choi|