'Whether you are LGBT or someone who cares about an LGBT person, regardless of where you live or what community you are in, starting a conversation with the people around you is a powerful first step toward change - and toward helping people understand why equal rights under the law matter,' said Lori Rifkin, staff attorney for the ACLU/SC.
'The passage of Prop. 8 in California has motivated LGBT people and their supporters like never before,' added Amy Balliett of Join the Impact, a grass-roots organization with more than 15,000 members that helped to develop the Tell3 campaign. 'Now that we've had some time to get over our anger and sadness, we're ready to act. And the single most important thing we can do to guarantee we don't find ourselves on the losing side of another political campaign is to have conversations with our friends and family about what it means to be LGBT.'
Joining the ACLU in rolling out their own Web-based versions of the Tell3 campaign are Equality California; the Equality Federation; Freedom to Marry; The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The goal of the campaign is for all LGBT groups and individuals to seize upon the momentum that has been generated since the passage of Proposition 8 in November and work together to tell their stories to build support for all of the issues affecting LGBT people.
Visitors to the site can find additional information on who to talk with and how to start these important conversations. There are also resources for those who want to learn more about the issues affecting LGBT people. But, as the Web site notes, the most important thing is for people to have personal conversations. The Web site encourages LGBT people to talk about their relationships, about growing up, and about how being LGBT has made them feel different from others in some respects and the same in others. Straight allies are encouraged to talk about their relationships with LGBT people and to speak up when they hear others make homophobic or transphobic comments.
The groups are encouraging everyone - members of national and local LGBT groups, individuals and couples supportive moms and dads, and allied friends and colleagues - to join the campaign and get people talking. There will also be opportunities for people to share their experiences on the Web site.
The campaign is also calling on bloggers and videographers to help spread the word by sharing their experiences of having these important conversations. 'After Prop. 8 passed, we spoke through demonstrations and we made ourselves heard. We need to take our voices beyond the streets into every home in America, and to do that we need to use every avenue available to sparking conversations,' Balliett said.