Hello, TWO readers!
John here. Most of you won’t know this, but it was one year ago last Wednesday that I finished my drive from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Burlington, Vermont — in the wake of a snowstorm that dumped nearly 30 inches of snow in some places — to take this position as Director of Communications and Development for Truth Wins Out. March 8, 2012 marked my one-year anniversary as a professional LGBT rights activist.
And what a year it’s been! During my very first week on the job, I wrote the letter and petition description for Truth Wins Out’s campaign aimed at convincing Apple to drop Exodus International’s “ex-gay” iPhone app. The ultimately successful endeavor received widespread coverage and gathered over 158,000 signatures from around the world. (Nothing like jumping right in, huh?) Just over three whirlwind months later I began conducting a TWO undercover hidden-camera investigation, secretly taping the “ex-gay” therapy sessions I received at Marcus Bachmann’s clinic in Minnesota. The results of our investigation ignited a national and international media firestorm, highlighted Michele Bachmann’s dangerous anti-LGBT extremism (presenting her presidential campaign with its first major roadblock), and most importantly, brought “pray away the gay” therapy into the national spotlight and sparked an ongoing conversation about the dangers of this discredited, fraudulent practice. And those are just two of the highlights; if I tried to list them all I’d be typing all night!
Along the way I’ve also been blogging, attending rallies, protests, and demonstrations, fundraising, editing, grant writing, attending conferences, writing op-eds and articles, and shipping T-shirts. In case it isn’t already totally obvious, there’s never a dull moment here at TWO.
But I do want to take one brief pause right here, right now, to say just one thing: thank you. One of my favorite things about doing this awesome work is the interaction I have with all of you, TWO’s incredible readers, donors, and supporters. I love hearing from you, and I am amazed literally daily by your passion, the depth of your commitment to justice and equality for LGBT people, and the trust you place in all of us here at Truth Wins Out to continue fighting that fight in every way we possibly can. It has been an absolute joy to be able to meet many of you at TWO-sponsored events, fundraisers, and pride festivals across the country. I am grateful to so many of you for opening up your hearts to me and humbled by the stories that you’ve shared — especially those of you who are survivors of “ex-gay” programs and those of you who are fighting for equality on behalf of a loved one lost to suicide, HIV/AIDS, or anti-LGBT violence — and I am in awe of your strength. It is a unique honor to be able to wake up every morning and work for LGBT equality, and I try as hard as I can every single day to be worthy of it.
So thank you all from the bottom of my heart for so warmly welcoming me into the Truth Wins Out family. Here’s to the great year we had, and to another amazing year yet to come!