Annette Gross

Accomplishments and Goals

Filed By Annette Gross | December 21, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement

I suppose this is the time of year when we take stock of what we did during the past year and what we want to accomplish for the next year. I usually don't do this because I can't keep focused on goals - I usually just fly by the seat of my pants. But there have been some accomplishments this year that I feel good about.

Our Indianapolis PFLAG Chapter held our first "Straight for Equality Party" in September. Approximately 50 straight people attended, learning about PFLAG's mission and how they can be advocates for the GLBT community. Members of our chapter spoke to social work students at IUPUI, sharing our stories and educating them about GLBT issues. We also participated at a School Counselor's conference, giving out information and literature to many school counselors. I spoke at State Farm Insurance, also sharing my story and sharing information.

But I'd say the biggest accomplishment has been...

just talking to people I meet - a waitress in a restaurant, a new friend I met at Starbucks, someone I know on-line, people I met campaigning. I share my story with them, letting them know how I feel about GLBT issues. The more I do this, the more I open up, the more I bring my world closer to theirs. They don't see differences as much as they see similarities.

My goal for the coming year would be to ensure safety for GLBT students in our schools. There is still too much bullying and harassment going on. We need to make our schools a safe place for our kids. They should not be afraid to go to school. It is my hope that we can speak to teachers, principals and guidance counselors and put a plan in action.

I don't know how the incoming administration will react to GLBT issues. Already there are questions about some of President-Elect Obama's choices. I guess we'll have to wait and see. We can't count on anything. I saw "Milk" this past weekend. It was a total inspiration. It reinforced that we have to keep doing what we're doing, no matter what. I feel proud to be part of such an important movement.

Happy and Healthy Holidays to you all!

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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 21, 2008 1:33 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Annette. What you say about the importance of just talking to people about various aspects of what LGBT folks face in their lives is so extremely important. I know that elsewhere on the Bilerico site there has been quite a discussion concerning President-Elect Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, with some significant differences of opinion (maybe emphasis is a better word) concerning symbolism and what role it plays.

To me, frankly, if somebody were to give me $100,000 or some smaller or larger amount and say: "You can spend this only in one of two ways: One, you can buy signs and banners that say 'Rick Warren is a homophobe and has no place in Obama's Inauguration'. Or Two, you can use it to help as many acquaintences as possible to send out letters, make signs, or whatever gets across a personalized message that says "I'm a real person with real life experiences and here's how the law treats me and mine unequally just because I'm an LGBT person.' "

I know what my choice would be without very much thought.

I'm guessing Don would buy the "Rick Warren is a homophobe" signs and banners. What about you, Annette? You know how radical Don is! :)

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 22, 2008 2:18 PM

But, Bil, I AM radical! Haven't you ever encountered a "radical centrist"? It continually seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why did the chicken cross the road but not make it to the other side"" (:

I suppose Don can stand at the entrance to the highway and wear it as a sandwich board - and on the other side it can say "Honk if you're a homophobe." (lol)