Spring 2022 • Jose Soto He/Him
For Kathy S., a member and Human Rights Campaign supporter from Catonsville, Maryland, advocating for the LGBTQ+ community has been a lifelong commitment. Being an ally came naturally to Kathy — she grew up alongside her brother and sister, who are both members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now, as a mother to a queer daughter, her support of HRC is an extension of the love and support she has for her family.
As the nation’s largest organization fighting for LGBTQ+ equality, HRC is fueled by its over 3.2 million members and supporters, including Kathy S., who align with the mission and values of the organization. They are the driving force behind every effort, initiative and project. From backing pro-equality candidates in the 1980s to combating anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation today, HRC’s critical mission of protecting the LGBTQ+ community while advancing equality has been charged by the support of our member base. Members like Kathy S. and Sharon S. propel our mission forward into the future, where our vision of a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear — and with equality under the law — is further realized.
Sharon lives in Austin, Texas, where she attended a Pride parade, providing free “mom hugs” to those in need of one.
“I went to the Gay Pride parade… and supported my daughter, who is pansexual,” Sharon said. “She is also the new mother of my perfectly imperfect grandson who will change the world one day.”
Sharon’s optimistic and gleeful comments help HRC continue to prioritize its membership base, knowing very well that it is through them that our work and mission truly find a home and a catapulting vehicle toward the future.
AN INSPIRATIONAL FORCE
In Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” and “Stop WOKE” bills into law, members like Rachel M. know that being an HRC member translates to supporting an entire community of LGBTQ+ individuals who are being targeted and discriminated against. Rachel is a high school government teacher and sees firsthand the efforts of LGBTQ+ people and our allies to simply be treated equally under the law. Her daughter is bisexual and, as Rachel has expressed, faces bigotry both at school and at the state level.
Through the support of our members like Rachel, who is striving to combat the hate and discrimination her daughter potentially can experience, we are able to substantiate and permeate a holistic message of love.
CREATING SAFE SPACES
It’s a message that Ashley R. from Tennessee also strives to relay.
“I've taught my children to be accepting and to truly love everyone no matter what beliefs they have, who they love, how they dress, and how they live their lives,” Ashley said. “I support all lives; LGBTQ+, Black lives, Asian lives, they all matter to me. I think everyone needs support, and as a cis white woman, I want to make sure people know my home is a safe space for them. “
Kathy, Sharon, Rachel and Ashley are just a few members among an ever-growing army of advocates who wholeheartedly support HRC’s mission. It is with their support that HRC is able to continue to identify ways of pushing LGBTQ+ equality forward and into new arenas, such as our work to advance transgender justice and our growing efforts in Latin America through our Equidad Workplace program.
Our appreciation for our members and supporters is unyielding. As we continue to combat discrimination and bigotry in whichever way they present themselves while advocating for the overall well-being of all LGBTQ+ people, we trust that our member base will venture across whichever trajectories lead us to full LGBTQ+ equality. They truly put the “human” in the Human Rights Campaign.