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LGBTQ Empowerment

Why LGBTQ Activists Can’t Afford to Get SIC

Photo: Courtesy of Levi Saunders

Discouraged — that’s usually the way we feel when we bow down to, or out from, a cause. We wave our white flag and sit down. We let “the professionals” do the work, because the free fall that is activism can be a scary leap of faith.

A motto for motivation

As one of those professionals, let me say: That isn’t how activism makes its mark, especially when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Judy Shepard uses a phrase we have been taught not to be: “SIC.”

SIC stands for silent, indifferent, complacent. We have worked together as a community to affect change. If we had been silent, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act would not have passed in 2009. If we had been indifferent, we would have closed our doors by now. If we had been complacent, we wouldn’t have made an impact that has touched so many and, dare I say, saved lives.

Going past politics

Over the last 18 years, we have accomplished a lot. But it was never alone. With the help of our supporters all over the country and even the world, we have a lot to be proud of. We plan to continue defending and improving upon the record of accomplishment in the spirit of our core values — with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

Human rights are not a partisan issue, and we will eagerly look for and spotlight anyone who will join us in that view over the coming term and beyond. We are standing, yet again, on the precipice and we have two choices: Take that leap of faith and continue advocating as we have always done, or become SIC.

Join us in leaping. The net will present itself as it always has. We only lose if we quit fighting. Your commitment to activism is needed more than ever now.

Sara Grossman, Communications Manager, Matthew Shepard Foundation, [email protected]

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