- August 27, 2013
Post submitted by Kevin Lynch- General Manager, DC Action Center and Store.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Such is the case for HRC’s first-ever Fire Island Pop-Up Shop.
With a storied history ripe with social protest in support of acceptance and equality, Fire Island is the perfect fit for HRC’s ever expanding list of pop-up shops. As a straight ally and a former shopkeeper on the island, Dolores Covrigaru, Political Co-Chair for the Greater New York Steering Committee, set out to make a seasonal pop-up happen. And boy did it happen!
In keeping with its culture of acceptance and strong sense of community, Fire Island embraced HRC with open arms and a shared desire to inspire, engage and empower millions in the fight for full LGBT equality. In fact, Fire Island Pines Ventures agreed to change two of its iconic rainbow flags that welcome every visitor to the island to HRC equality flags for the entire duration of our pop-up. It filled me with such pride and inspiration to see those flags waving proudly high above the harbor. I know that sentiment was shared by the thousands of residents, homeowners and visitors who visited the island.
To that, I’m reminded of and inspired by two fantastic individuals I met while staffing the pop-up shop.
Iman, an Egpytian transgender woman who couldn’t wait to join HRC because we represent “Me, all of us, my family,” described in great detail her struggles living as a transgender woman and escaping the oppression of her home country to seek acceptance in America. From fighting for workplace protections for LGBT Americans to changing the dialogue on transgender cultural competency in hospitals, in schools and in the workforce, HRC is committed to realizing a better America for Iman and her transgender brothers and sisters. Vincent, a straight ally vacationing from France, visited the shop and shared his personal story of forming a Gay Straight Alliance in his home country. Our historic wins at the Supreme Court this summer wouldn’t have happened without the help, support and visibility of some of our powerful and effective advocates- straight allies.
Over the course of ten days, I had countless impactful conversations about the future of the LGBT movement and I couldn’t have been more moved by the growing optimism and hope that together, we can do this. We can realize full LGBT equality.