January 18, 2024 

Welcome to the latest 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.

Bursting Through was founded on the values of Change, Courage, and Compassion. Everything Bursting Through does is looked at through the lens of Change, Courage, and Compassion, individually, collectively, or combined.  

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bursting Through’s values. This led me to think about the many times I have witnessed our extraordinary community putting our values into action.

Over the last 31 months, this community not only connected by telling and sharing our stories but also emerged as a distinct voice in cultural conversations. 

One of the things that makes this community powerful is recognizing the conversations are about our shared humanity and common experiences as well as our differences and less common experiences. The best way to discover our differences and introduce change is to ask previously unasked questions and meet people where they are. 

When I was creating Bursting Through it was necessary to ask myself and others questions I had never asked before.  I had to accept the answers for what they were even when I was SURE I knew what the answer would be.

Here is some of the KNOWLEDGE I acquired that flabbergasted and educated me. This information required me to lean into Bursting Through values in new ways.  I had to channel more compassion, muster up more courage, and agree to change my thinking when confronted with new valuable insight.

Allyship was obsolete. 

Many of the people I asked about Allyship were surprised by the question.  They were even more surprised I was starting a movement with the mission of creating sustainable equality and safety for the Queer Community. 

They honestly believed the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states was the last obstacle to Queer equality. This misconception led them to believe their job as an Ally was done. 

They were unaware of workplace discrimination, family alienation/rejection, LGBTQ+ violence, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, or countless other ways the Queer Communities Civil Rights are challenged daily.

The topic of Queer rights is only for the Queer Community.

Many self-identified Allies felt they were NOT empowered to discuss Queer topics when not in the company of their LGBTQ+ loved ones. They legitimately felt insecure, ill-equipped, and feared misspeaking. 

This is understandable as the topic of Queer rights has been set up to be controversial, politically charged, and at times taboo but this knowledge was still hard to process and accept.  I had not imagined self-identified Allies would not speak up for someone they loved because they feared not doing it properly. 

Visibility = Equality. 

Because PRIDE month is well-acknowledged in mainstream media and most major corporations embrace PRIDE merchandise, many Allies mistook visibility for equality. 

The hard-fought-for visibility the Queer Community receives during June each year is incredibly important but PRIDE exists because equality doesn’t. PRIDE month does not alter the reality that it’s not safe for many LGBTQ+ Americans to live as their true selves.

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Perhaps some of what I uncovered should have been obvious but it wasn’t. It was informative and powerful. It shifted my thinking and gave me a deeper connection to “we don’t know what we don’t know.”

This is what drives me to empower you as a member of the Bursting Through Community with KNOWLEDGE, POWER, and ALLYSHIP ACTIONS. 

It reminds me of the importance of Bursting Through’s values and the POWER they have.  That is why it feels ideal to align this week’s POWER with Bursting Through’s values.

Consider changing the way you view LGBTQ+ rights.  Try viewing politics and the culture wars created by modern politics as current events or pop culture instead of taboo topics and engage accordingly.

I have shared this POWER point before but it bears repeating. Deconstruct the act of Allyship from an overwhelming unreachable thing only done when voting or during PRIDE month to daily actions, and soon it will be second nature.

Have the courage to stand up in Allyship even if you might make a mistake or say something wrong.

Jeannie Gainsburg, author of The Savvy Ally, was an Extraordinary Actions feature in the Q4 2022 issue of Bursting Through Connections. She told us how Allyship was an ongoing journey of messing up. She said, “We need to learn how to mess up properly, how to get it right the next time, and how to move forward.”  It is solid advice we should all keep in mind.

Compassion is key. The fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States is not over.  I believe with the actions of people like you, someday it will be but that day is not today. Always remember when you put your Allyship into action, your Queer brother, sister, nephew, or friend is a human being and not a political platform or policy.

As you move forward with this newly found Knowledge and Power, please ensure your safety is your top priority.  Real change is achieved with courage compassion and consciousness of your surroundings. 

Bursting Through is a reader-supported publication. To join our monthly storytelling workshops, dive deeper into topics with experts and more, consider becoming a paid member.


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