Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Focus and Acceptance of ALL Families



As some of you may know, controversy emerged in my own backyard.  The Mayor of Arcadia, California invited a keynote speaker from Focus on the Family to our city’s community breakfast.  Focus on the Family is not supportive of LGBT individuals or families.  They feel an LGBT individual can be cured with therapy, should not be allowed to transition to the person they feel lives inside of them, and believes a marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Coming from a Japanese background, I am not one who is comfortable “rocking the boat.”  I am usually the individual trying to make sure everyone has a nice seat on the boat.  But when someone says my transgender son is sick and needs reparative therapy, when I am told he should not be allowed to transition to live his life fully and in alignment with his feelings, I find the courage to speak out.  This is why I decided to do the video you have seen or are about to see.

After you watch the video, if you feel compelled to voice your opinion about the message the Mayor is sending to its residents and LGBT individuals and families across the nation by having Focus on the Family speak at a community event, I encourage you to speak out.  I appreciate those who are willing to lend their caring voice and accepting heart to this situation.  I know all LGBT individuals and families across the nation also appreciate your concern, your time and your support.  Thank you.

Please email your concerns to:

Mayor Peter Amundson:

Arcadia City Council:

If you’re comfortable, please Cc the Arcadia Weekly and 
            the San Gabriel Valley News:
                        editor@arcadiaweekly.com
                        brenda.gazzar@sgvn.com

*If you want a sample letter to send to the mayor and city council, here is something you can use and adapt to your own style:

Dear Mayor Amundson, Mayor Pro Tem Kovacic, Council Members Chandler, Segal and Harbicht:

I have heard that your city has invited a speaker from Focus on the Family to speak at a Community Breakfast on March 4, 2011.  I wish to voice my concern about a speaker representing an organization that is so intolerant of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their families.

I would like to know what Arcadia is going to do to show their community, LGBT individuals and allies that Arcadia Focuses and Accepts ALL Families.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creating Change

Sunday night I returned from Minneapolis after 4 days at the Creating Change Conference.  I was both inspired and overwhelmed with all the information.  Attending a day long session, 6 workshops, 1 movie, 1 reception and meeting with 6 individuals/groups kept me hopping.  I was up early and flopped into bed exhausted each night.  But over the course of those days I met some of the most amazing human beings.  I met mothers like me who wanted to support their LGBT children and all the other LGBT children in their communities.  I met educators and health professionals who wanted to make schools and society safer for all youth, especially LGBT youth.  There were representatives from non profits, churches, youth groups, businesses and schools.  My son, Aiden was there.  My future daughter-in-law, Mary was there.

Edmund Burke said, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."  In Minneapolis, I saw over 2500 individuals come together hoping to do something.  And so from the East Coast to the West Coast, we brought our knowledge, we brought our questions and we brought our hope.  How can you not stand in awe at that?