My summer internship began with hearing from the Democratic LGBT Caucus on Capitol Hill. I heard from representatives such as John Lewis (D-GA) and Mark Takano (D-CA). In the wake of the Orlando attacks, our country has been faced with reexamining its core values. Issues such as gun control and equality are at the forefront of political debates. The Orlando shooting serves as a painful reminder of the work that still needs to be done in our country especially in regards to LGBTQ+ issues. However, progress has been made. As of July 2016, California became a leading state in textbook reform. Public school students in the state will now directly learn about LGBTQ history and prominent figures within the movement. Additionally, the United Methodist Church just elected its first openly gay bishop in June 2016. These historical changes remind us that progress can be made.
In the Dominican Republic, calls for better treatment of LGBTQ individuals and communities increased after Orlando. In fact, the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic sparked conversation on this topic given his status as an openly gay man and advocate for the LGBTQ community. His accomplishments include developing the country’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce and helping activists organize LGBT campaigns.
At AsylumConnect, our mission is to connect LGBTQ asylum seekers with fundamental human needs resources upon their arrival in the United States. We will continue striving towards this mission and ensure we are protecting all asylum seekers. We must stand together as a community and continue to fight for fair treatment.
We created a Visibility Video to raise awareness for LGBTQ equality and justice following the Orlando massacre. Check it out below and thank you for your support!