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At 50, SpeakOUT Recommits to the Work Ahead

SpeakOUT is coming to the end of our 50th anniversary year and it feels like a good time to assess, as one does when one turns 50.

First there is the looking back.

Over the course of 50 years, there have been thousands of SpeakOUT speakers who have shared their personal stories in order to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ people. Through the AIDS crisis, the movements for anti-discrimination protections in work and housing, the fight for marriage equality, the struggle for transgender civil rights, and during so many other significant milestones for our community, SpeakOUT speakers shared their experiences and perspectives of life within the LGBTQ+ community to shatter stereotypes and to put a face on the unknown. 

SpeakOUT has been just a part of the whole community’s work for equality, respect, and justice for LGBTQ+ people over these five decades and we want to acknowledge and thank all of our co-conspirators who have amplified the voices of our community and enhanced the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

Then you wonder about the impact you’ve had on others in your 50 years.

Kathy Brophy, a teacher at Wellesley High School shared this with us: 

“Having been a SpeakOUT speaker for a short time back in 2010, I appreciate the impact that the speakers have in our classes. They share their life experiences, offer their perspective of the history of the movement, and they come equipped to answer a range of questions that the students have. I am an out and proud educator, and when I witness the SpeakOUT sessions, I am proud that this is happening in my classroom.”

And from a Boston business where we conducted an online engagement during Pride Month:

“For myself it really helped me to gain a better understanding of the perspective of someone who is gay or transgender…SpeakOUT is truly a great resource for the community and we would hope and encourage other organizations to take advantage of the programs being offered. I think the discussion last week will have a lasting effect on the culture [of our business].”

And, finally, there is looking ahead to what comes next.

We’ve had a strong year in 2022, indicating that our programs are in demand by the schools, colleges, businesses, organizations, and faith communities that we work with. But with the increasingly hostile legislation and violence that is targeting our community, we need to do more. 

Our intention in the new year is to continue to build our capacity beyond the one staff member and our board of directors and volunteers in order to do more and reach more people. We need to train more speakers to expand our reach through our online programs beyond the Boston area. And we need to create a stronger financial base for that expansion. That’s where your support comes in to help us succeed.

As our 50th anniversary year comes to a close, we ask you to make a gift to support the important work that we are doing throughout the Greater Boston area and beyond. Make your tax-deductible donation today by making an online donation, either a one-time gift or become a monthly or quarterly donor!

There is no resting on our laurels in 2023. The work continues and SpeakOUT is committed to doing our part by opening minds and changing attitudes. We appreciate your support in helping us do that!