Just saw this on Facebook from my friend Mandy Lee, who is the Board President of a statewide LGBTQ organization. I am thankful for Mandy for a teachable moment on #NationalComingOutDay, and am committed to be an ally of LGBTQ community as well as an agent to bring the immigrant community forward.
From Mandy’s Facebook:
“On the eve of National Coming Out Day, I wanted to share this opinion piece that I wrote as a coming out of sorts with the rest of the world that I may not be out to, namely my family. Whether you are first generation or fifth, Chinese or African American, catholic or muslim, democrat but especially republican, too many of us struggle with the process of coming out. I know I did and continue to.
When you talk about transgender rights, marriage equality and HIV decriminalization, these fights are lightyears ahead of those of us from these communities that struggle with the very basics of being loved and accepted by our loved ones. This is the reason I started my LGBTQ activism with Equality California many years ago - to bridge these two communities.
I met someone named Josephine Zhao who helped me through an immensely difficult time in my life when my parents and I were on the outs because of my sexuality. She listened and sprang to action and today, my relationship with my parents is better (but not perfect) because of her intervention. And while I've come to terms that my coming out process will likely be a lifelong one, I am forever grateful for friends like her that have stepped up and stepped in in the way that she has to make a difference.
She was recently attacked for past comments she made even though she acknowledged her comments, apologized for them and today, is on the right side of the issue. Candidly, Josephine has a lot of work to do to continue to evolve but what was lost in this discussion was that she is WILLING to progress... and we should allow her to as progressives. The left has to stop killing the left.
Please take a moment to read this piece and if you feel inclined to, share your story with me. Let's start this movement together.
P.S. Thank you to Bay City Beacon for publishing my story after multiple SF newspapers took a pass. And thank you to everyone that helped me put my thoughts on paper and get this thing published. You know who you are. “