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Queer Youth Leaders Mobilize for GSA Day of Racial Justice

In February 2018, Liberty Hill partnered with the Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Network of Southern California—one of our grantees fighting to empower and train young LGBTQ leaders—to call on Los Angeles County elected officials to address issues of disproportionate criminalization and abusive treatment of LGBTQ youth of color.

National Coming Out Day

Last week in response to the rash of recent gay teen suicides, my colleague Darrell Tucci agreed to tell a story he had never shared publicly before. Today is National Coming Out Day. It seemed an appropriate video to share on this occasion.

Prop. 8 Found Unconstitutional—Disbelief, Then Joy

Moments ago, I saw a tweet that said: “PROPOSITION 8 FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.” At first, I didn’t believe it. Seconds later, I saw other tweets that filled in more of the story. I shared the good news with my colleagues, and Liberty Hill’s offices were filled with shrieks of joy, high fives, and genuine excitement.
I thought of my grandmother.
Earlier this week, she asked me when I was going to get married. I told her that first I needed to find someone suitable to marry, and second, Proposition 8 needed to be repealed. She said that she’d gladly tell the powers that be to repeal Prop 8 but didn’t think they’d listen to an old Black woman. I thanked her and told her not to underestimate her power. In the mean time, she said she’d be on the lookout for a suitable husband.

The New LGBT High School

Today's L.A. Times has a story about a new school for LGBT teens. Many of our grantee partners who have worked to end harassment of LGBT teens don't see isolating young people as the solution. That's why Liberty Hill has invested in AB537 and other protections designed to protect all students, straight, questioning or queer in every school in California. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A Straight Ally In The Asian Community Speaks Up for Gay Marriage

From the desk of Shane Goldsmith, Liberty Hill's Leadership Institute Director:

This week my wife and I were able to attend the Lambda Legal Liberty Awards dinner.

We laughed, we cried, and we stuffed ourselves with crab cakes and brownies.   Thanks to our dear friends at Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, PC for getting us there!

The best part of the evening was when Karin Wang accepted the Liberty Award. Karin is a member of Liberty Hill’s Community Funding Board and she is the VP of Programs at the Asian American Pacific Legal Center (APALC - the largest legal and civil rights organization focused on Asian Americans). She helped found API Equality-LA, a coalition of LGBT and allied groups working to advance marriage equality in the Asian American Community, and a Liberty Hill grantee. She spearheaded a highly successful Asian languages educational media campaign about marriage quality and led API Equality-LA’s media efforts against Proposition 8.

In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to API Equality-LA and APALC, and she explained why she works so hard for marriage equality even though she’s straight. Here is an excerpt from her speech:  

It was not something that I planned, and – honestly – it was not even something that I chose.  As a civil rights lawyer, I know that our battles often choose us.

And 5 years ago, when 1,000 Chinese-Americans protested gay marriage in Los Angeles, I was drawn into this particular battle.