HRC Blog

Harnessing the Power of Personal Narratives in Illinois

Illinois flag Post submitted by Luis Roman, HRC field organizer

By sharing our stories, we are able to highlight some of the most difficult parts of ourselves – the discrimination we encounter, the fear we feel, or the uncertainty that keeps us awake at night. It is one of the most powerful tools to move LGBT equality forward.

In order to garner support from friends and neighbors, the LGBT community must be willing to share our personal narratives. According to reports, individuals are more supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals when they personally know someone directly impacted by LGBT inequality.

Throughout the campaign to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Illinois, we asked community members to tell share their personal narratives with elected officials.

In Chicago’s southern suburbs, we collected over 200 hand-written letters from LGBT individuals and straight allies, both young and old, urging Congressman Lipinksi to stand on the side of fairness and equality.

Many are supportive because they have LGBT family members or friends; others are parents, who want to raise their children in a more equal society, some are LGBT individuals who have faced discrimination themselves. All, nonetheless, note that ENDA continues to be an issue of basic fairness.

We are proud to receive the support of organizations like LGBT Neighbors in Bridgeport, the Bridgeport Alliance, the ALMA Youth Summit in Cicero and the Latino Organization of the Southwest (LOS).

If you would like to write a personal letter to Congressman Lipinski, please contact Luis at luisr@workplaceopportunity.org

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