HRC Equality Bus Stops in Montgomery, Alabama
October 19, 2011 by Admin
This post is by Zack Hasychak, Community Events Manager at HRC
Greetings from the Heart of Dixie! This morning, HRC’s On the Road to Equality bus tour made its first stop in Alabama, at Auburn University Montgomery here in the state capital. Along with our partners Equality Alabama, the GSA at AUM, PFLAG Montgomery and the Southern Poverty Law Center, we’re here on the ground spreading the message of equality and raising the visibility of the LGBT community in one of the hardest states to live openly. Today, we were met with the best of receptions; students, faculty and community members alike stopped by our bus to visit the HRC exhibits, share what equality means to them, and chat about the issues facing, and future of LGBT individuals here in Alabama.
I had a chance to speak with Cara, a 19-year-old student here at AUM who identifies as a lesbian. While her family and friends have gradually come to accept her for who she is, she explained it was a long and painful process to endure. “My family and friends were initially shocked - like most Alabamians, I was raised in a very religious community and was always taught that being gay was morally wrong," and noted that "Most people in Alabama are petrified of the coming out process out of fear of being disowned and violence." When I asked her what she thought of the HRC coming to AUM, she explained “Having HRC on our campus shows students who may be gay but are afraid of being out that there is an LGBT community who have gone through the same struggle, even here in Alabama, and that there are people who can help.”
This is only our first stop here in Alabama, where we’ll also be hosting events in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham later this week and into the weekend. We’ve partnered with the statewide group Equality Alabama on their annual Equality Week which also began today. Equality Alabama will be hosting additional events across the state over the week. For more information, visit www.equalityalabama.org.
Stay tuned for more updates as we criss-cross the Yellowhammer State this week!
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