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End-of-year Support Spurs Growth in 2024

“I had to inform my employer that I would have to break the law if I traveled to Florida for work. As a trans man, I could be charged with a misdemeanor for using the men’s bathroom in public buildings.”

“As a nonbinary person who works in a public-facing job, I have been harassed and undermined by people in my community because of my identity.”

“Yes, we have marriage equality, but I still had to legally adopt my own child that was birthed by my wife to ensure that all of our rights will be protected.”

Dear SpeakOUT Supporter,

When SpeakOUT visits a school or library, a workplace or a faith community, our speakers share perspectives like the ones above from their daily lives of being an LGBTQ+ person living in the world today. We provide a face and a name for our listeners to understand the personal effects of discrimination and oppressive laws, and illustrate how even in Massachusetts the current political climate seeps into our lives. 

Often our audience members thank us for being brave for sharing personal details about our lives and for answering a range of provocative questions. Sometimes we do feel brave, but oftentimes many of us feel it is just what we have to do to make a difference in our communities. SpeakOUT knows that many LGBTQ+ people cannot publicly tell their own stories and it is important for us to amplify the voices of those who can speak to combat the hateful rhetoric that is being used against us. It is more important than ever before to energize LGBTQ+ community members and allies to take up space in the world, not to retreat and silence ourselves.

We continue to share our truths within in-person engagements as well as online presentations that reach far beyond greater Boston. We speak to any audience that is looking to create safer and more inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. After a recent visit to a faith community near Boston, they shared this reaction with us:

“Each of the speakers shared from their heart about who they are and how they identify. They also offered key insights from their journey that helped us understand what has been helpful and harmful in personal, professional, and familial relationships. They shared that they were open to any questions. The night felt transformational and gave many of our members insights that we’re still grateful for and reflecting upon. Thank you for all you’re doing, SpeakOUT Boston, it was very helpful and demystifying!”

When we receive these testimonials from our clients, it confirms for us that our personal approach is affecting change within those spaces. These moments of insight and connection are truly making a difference in our communities and your continued help and support is critical for us to keep doing this important work. 

Over the last two years, SpeakOUT has been enhancing our programs by doing both in-person and online presentations for a wide variety of audiences. We spoke to an AARP group of LGBTQ+ seniors in South Dakota as well as a group of seniors in Brighton, Massachusetts. We spoke to LGBTQ+ youth at a summer camp on Cape Cod, to executives at Amazon, and to doctors in training at Harvard Medical School, as well as many, many others.

We try to reach as many audiences as we can and we want to reach even more. Which means enlarging our staff to help expand our efforts. Did you know we only have one paid staff member? Yup, that’s me. Our goal for 2024 is to bring on a second staff member so that we can boost our capacity to reach more people and to do more work behind the scenes to ensure SpeakOUT’s sustainability—and we hope you can help us achieve that goal!

We are looking ahead to 2024 with a strong commitment to strengthening our ability to educate audiences about our community. We know that LGBTQ+ people will continue to be targeted by conservative forces across this country and our fight for equality will only get harder in the run-up to the general election. The success of our end-of-year campaign will impact our internal growth as well as the number of audiences we will be able to reach. 

Your generosity today makes a meaningful difference in what we will be able to accomplish next year. Please use our QR code to make an online donation today. SpeakOUT has shared the personal stories of our community for over 50 years and your support will help us take that remarkable legacy to a new level in the coming year.

In Pride, 

Ellyn Ruthstrom 

Executive Director

P.S. For donors who give $100 or more, we’ll send you a black progress flag baseball cap for you to wear with pride in the new year!