In the featured picture to the left, this is my friend Laura Campbell at a Florida pride event. In the featured picture to the right is me in my Free Mom Hugs shirt at a Texas Pride Parade a year ago. I was there to prevent suicide by offering hugs of affirmation and words of acceptance. Laura’s style of advocacy is different than mine, and that’s a good thing. We need different advocacy styles.
Laura lives in Florida while I live in Texas. She has a talk show called Living Out-loud with Laura that I have appeared on twice. You can listen to the most recent podcast here. 027 – Chat with Julie, a Catholic from Texas, who is on a mission to help Catholics become Allies in Action (buzzsprout.com)
Laura comes from a conservative military background while I come from a conservative Christian/Catholic background. We are both LGBTQ+ advocates in our states, not because we are wild and crazy moms, but because we love our LGBTQ+ kids and the LGBTQ+ community who are facing political danger. In addition as an Educational Therapist, I am professionally advocating for Neurodivergent kids through my publications; Neurodivergent people are LGBTQ+ more often than the general population.
Laura and I both fear for the lives of LGBTQ+ kids/people due to elevated life-threatening anti-LGBTQ+ bills in Florida and Texas. The political climates in our states within certain jurisdictions are hostile and dangerous towards our families and families like ours. There are a number of people who want LGBTQ+ people dead, so this is why we advocate. Our governors through different tactics wish to appease a fascist sect in order to erase our children and strip away their fundamental rights to safety, family, healthcare, work, and life. When anyone in leadership hates certain people for simply existing, so do many people who support the leadership.
Many people do not understand the danger families like ours are facing. As I said in my last piece, I personally know families with transgender children in who are fleeing for their lives and leaving Texas due to the political climate, the bans on transgender healthcare, and the hatred which has been escalating for five decades towards LGBTQ+ people and their families. No American should have to live in fear simply for living and existing.
This leads into the message the Catholic Church portrays, especially since it has more influence than any religious institution on earth. When Pope Francis gave priests permission to officiate same-gender blessings/ceremonies at the global Synod setting in Rome recently, I believe he knew the consequences of not doing so in our current political climate since history tends to repeat itself. The longer the Catholic Church denied the humanity of LGBTQ+ people and publicly spoke of “how sinful they are,” the longer this would endanger Catholic LGBTQ+ lives and LGBTQ+ lives in the Church and in broader society. There is a direct correlation between the acceptance or rejection of people by politicians and also Church’s acceptance or rejection of human beings in broader society. Those in any leadership position who use their religion and/or their political position as a weapon to deny the fundamental rights to safety, family, healthcare, work, and life, they also encourage their followers to do the same. This is why many families with transgender children in Florida and Texas are fleeing for their lives to other states and even other countries because certain Church leaders and politicians have publicly denied the humanity of LGBTQ+ people and their families. Thank God that Pope Francis has learned and evolved in a more LGBTQ+ accepting position over the last ten years of his papacy. This showed when Pope Francis gave priests permission to officiate same-gender blessings/ceremonies.
I believe that not treating all people and all variations of the modern family as equal human beings is to be complicit with fascism and characteristics of Nazi Germany. With the power the Church and politicians hold, they have the ability to endanger people or to promote justice and life. By publicly denouncing the humanity of certain individuals and using dangerous rhetoric through various means, those in power endanger the lives of the vulnerable. By speaking well of the vulnerable and including them as part of the human family, they promote solidarity and life.