January 4, 2024 

Welcome to the first Bursting Through ONLINE Knowledge and Power.

Knowledge and Power is a bi-weekly communication distributed exclusively to our ONLINE community. It is designed to empower you with important information and action.

We live in an information-rich world but we are often knowledge-poor. Multiple 24-hour news channels, countless online news resources, and numerous social media platforms may have intended to give us easy access to information but many have become tools of propaganda.

Misrepresentations of information about the Queer Community and Allyship within the community are rampant. Outlets that villainize the LGBTQ+ community have led to open acts of hate both verbal and physical. Bursting Through ONLINE exists to counteract the hate and misinformation by exposing it and annul attempts to wrongfully denigrate the Queer Community and by extension, those who love and support them.

I have been telling you since the inception of Bursting Through that WE, Allies, and the Queer Community are the majority at 62% of the adult United States population. It is time to collectively, consciously, and consistently behave that way beyond election days

WE may not be able to stop all bad actors and every idiot with a microphone but WE do not have to stand by in silence as they continue to intentionally and viciously attack and hurt the LGBTQ+ Community. A community that historically has done nothing to provoke the attacks other than live as their true selves.

Knowledge is power and WE as the majority will be powerful when WE cut through nonsense, create stronger community connections, and most importantly, take action.

There are more acts of LGBTQ+ hate and nonsense in the United States than any one person could keep track of or process. Here are three that might hit close to home or you might find unbelievable, but they are real.

The owner of a St. Louis Gay bar was assaulted and arrested by two St. Louis Police Officers after they (the cops) ran their police vehicle into the bar. I can’t imagine this happening if the business owners were straight but it’s not surprising to any member of the Queer Community.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/20/us/st-louis-police-crash-bar.html

The American Civil Liberties Union said it recorded at least 508 bills impacting the LGBTQ+ community in 2023, adding 84 of these bills were passed into law. This number includes 19 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in my home state of Iowa which passed the “Don’t say LGBTQ+ Bill” in March 2023.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/record-number-anti-lgbtq-legislation-filed-2023 /story?id=105556010

After decades as an open Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Crusader, Mike Johnson was duly elected to Speaker of the House putting him third in line to the Presidency of the United States. It’s difficult to imagine this happening 10 years ago but somehow being openly hateful and intentionally harmful to citizens of the United States has been normalized in today’s politics.

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2023/11/02/hate-groups-rejoice-over- newly-elected-speaker-mike-johnson.

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It is easy to discount specific acts of people or organizations as fringe, radical, not the majority, or just politics. All of those things may be true but when they go unchallenged or unanswered they become mainstream, acceptable, and even normalized.

A loud minority creating a non-desirable society while the silent majority allows it to happen is a well-established part of American history that needs to stop. Living your values outloud is not rude or argumentative, it is necessary. It’s possible to be polite and principled.

My job as the leader of the Bursting Through Movement and this ONLINE community is to share facts that you otherwise might not know and introduce and encourage actions. That is the mission of each KNOWLEDGE and POWER.

Above are three facts and now comes three actions.

Share this communication or the facts you learned with others. Don’t shy away from them because they may be viewed as political.
When you talk about Bursting Through with others make sure you let them know Bursting Through is a Storytelling Movement and not a political organization. Bursting Through talks about politics through the lens of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and politicians simply because we as a nation decided that the rights of Queer people are subjective and not guaranteed. At times the subject of politics can not be avoided but Bursting Through is about connecting on a human level and finding strength and empowerment through storytelling.

Try viewing politics and the culture wars created by modern politics as current events or pop culture instead of taboo topics and engage accordingly.

For example. I was talking to a buddy in St. Louis the other day. He shared how he had heard people in a local coffee shop talking about the incident with the gay business owner and the cops.He recognized there were older conservative people in this conversation struggling to wrap their heads around the treatment of the business owner. He managed to organically join the conversation connecting on a human level and not through politics.

Create time in your schedule to check in with your Queer loved ones.

Daily life can be taxing for everyone but the constant attacks on the LGBTQ+ Community add another layer to your Queer loved ones’ world. They might not admit it, want to talk about it, or even realize it, but it is heavy and this small act of compassion and Allyship makes it a bit lighter for a while.

As you move forward with this newly found Knowledge and Power, please ensure your safety is your top priority. Real change requires uncomfortable conversations but should never be held in an environment where you do now feel emotionally and physically safe.

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