We Are Family

That’s the view from the dock belonging to one of my fellow board members at We Are Family. We spent the weekend planning, discussing, and thinking through the goals for our small but mighty grassroots organization (and enjoying the view). Also, we laughed a lot. If you’re new to We Are Family, here’s a bit about what they do and why I love working with them.

We Are Family is a Charleston-based non-profit that provides a literal safe space for LGBTQI and straight ally youth to gather and talk about the issues they’re facing at home or school, advocacy, and leadership development opportunities. Whether you’re gay or straight, white or purple, at some point in your life, you most likely experienced a moment when someone made you feel less than. Who made you feel like there was something wrong with you. Who tried to make you feel like you didn’t somehow belong. Who perhaps even tried to deny your right to be safe and secure. Though we know the tide is turning for LGBT equality, there is still so much work to be done to replace ignorance with enlightenment and to replace fear and hate with acceptance and love. That’s what We Are Family is for.

Every week, when these bright, creative LGBTQI and straight ally youth get together for SafeSpace or KidsSpace, they build community, learn important skills in communication and leadership, and inspire all of us with their energy, heart, and insight. I ask you all to think of a child close to you and imagine what you would do if you felt like they were being treated unfairly simply because of who they are.

Maybe you’d make a donation.

Maybe you’d volunteer your time.

Maybe you’d join us for an Iron Mary Bloody Mary fundraising event at the Local 616.

Or maybe you’d help spread the word of how amazing these kids are.

It all helps.

It’s funny, for me, the best part of the board retreat wasn’t the creation of our strategic plan or even that gorgeous lake view…it was hearing each of us articulate the reasons why we got involved with We Are Family in the first place. At the end of the day, it all came down to this: every child deserves to be safe to be exactly who they are.