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Op-ed: Help Decide the Future of the LGBT Movement

Op-ed: Help Decide the Future of the LGBT Movement


Organizations like PFLAG, National Black Justice Coalition, and the National LGBTQ Task Force need your help to figure out what's next in the fight for equality.

The last decade has been an exciting one for LGBTQ people across the country.

Our community has made great progress on a number of fronts. We've increased our visibility and succeeded in turning the tide of public sentiment in a more open and accepting direction. We've defeated "don't ask, don't tell," putting an end to legal discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual members of our military. And we've advanced marriage equality, winning victories for love and commitment in legislatures, at the ballot box and in courtrooms -- a fight that began decades ago, received increased energy and attention after Massachusetts became the first state to allow marriage for same-sex couples in 2004, and hopefully will soon be brought to an end at the highest court in the land.

But no matter which way the decision falls on the marriage case currently pending before the Supreme Court, we must remember one thing: Regardless of how far we've come, we still have farther to go until everyone has equality, dignity, and justice, no matter where we live or how we identify ourselves.

To help achieve that worthy goal, I'm excited today to announce the launch of Our Tomorrow -- a campaign to engage LGBTQ people across the country in a conversation to shape the future of a bigger, bolder movement that leaves no one behind.

Supported by more than 90 LGBTQ organizations and foundations, with partners ranging from national nonprofits to local community centers, Our Tomorrow will spend the next few months asking you and others like you to share your hopes and fears for the future -- and your ideas for making tomorrow better for all of us.

Here's how it works: You can join the conversation by visiting the campaign's website at and taking a few minutes to share your hopes, fears, and ideas -- for your life and for our community -- in your own words. You'll also be able to read and share posts created by others -- creating an inspiring online dialogue about where we're headed next.

Once the campaign ends, Our Tomorrow's partner organizations will use the hopes, fears, and ideas shared on the website to better understand your concerns and think about how they can help address the community's needs. This is a tremendous opportunity for every member of our community to share your voice -- and make sure it's heard at this critical moment.

We can't stop now -- not when so many people's health, safety and lives depend on us. We must keep moving forward. We must maintain momentum. We must keep fighting for progress -- for every member of our LGBTQ community.

This is a historic moment, and we must seize it -- using the incredible momentum from the marriage equality movement to energize and accelerate an essential conversation about how we can address the many challenges that still lay ahead. And we'll need to hear from every corner of our community to truly make it happen.

As I said at the outset, we've come a long way in the last 10 years, and it has been an incredible honor for me to stand beside you in fighting to make the victories we've won into the realities they've become. But we're not done yet. We can do more, we must do more, and with Our Tomorrow, I believe that we will.

With a final decision on marriage equality on the horizon, now is not the time to slow down. It's the time to turn our gaze toward tomorrow and begin the process of shaping our future. Together.

LEE SWISLOW is the campaign director for Our Tomorrow and the former executive director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

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Lee Swislow