Friday, February 13, 2015

Visibility and the Alphabet Soup of Letters: Tori Wolfe-Sisson Talks to Juan González about Battle for Gay Rights in Alabama

Juan González asks Tori Wolfe-Sisson, who, with her partner Shanté, was a member of the first gay couple to marry in Montgomery, if she can talk about the long battle for marriage equality in Alabama. González asks what steps she and others have taken to gain equality.

She replies: 

Yeah, there have been quite a few organizations that have been working to achieve equality, in addition to the Human Rights Campaign. And some of the methods have been providing visibility, being—like we’re regular people, so when more numbers of the LGBTQ community come out to community events, volunteering, it lets the general population really see us. And once you can attribute a person to these few—this alphabet soup of letters that people oftentimes don’t understand, it’s harder to discriminate against. So one of the biggest methods in fighting the discrimination and the injustice that’s going on in the state in terms of the LGBT community has been to provide visibility.

Visibility: once people can see a person there, where previously there was merely an alphabet soup of letters they didn't understand, it becomes harder to discriminate. For marginalized, demeaned people, telling our stories is critically important, since it's by that telling that we begin to become visible on the stage of history.

And visibility is an indispensable prerequisite to claiming human rights. Along with every other human being who rises out of the alphabet soup of letters to have a person's face. 

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