Over the past twenty-three years of HeartStrong’s work we have seen all types of political powers come and go. Some helping to ease the burdens of LGBT citizens and some increasing those burdens.
These days so many are fearful of the prospect of living in a country where women are pushed to the floor, people of color are relegated to stereotypes, strangers are rejected, LGBT people are dismissed and emotionally devalued and where anyone who is a non believer or not the right kind of believer is rejected or evangelized. Please keep in mind that this is the worldview and life perspective that students at many religious educational institutions have lived in for decades regardless of outside social progress. Imagine that fear and distress you are feeling right now being part of your daily life with no prospect of it changing unless you walk away from everything you have ever known.
This is what we at HeartStrong have been trying to relay for two decades. Admittedly it’s hard to understand this part of our world but now it is unfortunately easy to understand.
For two decades we have traversed North American and used the internet and social media for outreach in other parts of the world. It is to help shine a light for people whose lives and future every day are as dismal as the prospect of at least the next decade is for all of us right now.
One thing has remained constant for us at HeartStrong. It is the hope for the future. A future where one day the need for HeartStrong would not exist. A future where we could look back on our work and see how amazing it was to do but look ahead for something equally amazing to do with that same energy.
We have an administration now that will be pushing school choice including vouchers for parents to use taxpayer money to put their LGBT and heterosexual kids in religious schools where they will be taught to hate themselves and hate others. While the majority of these schools have always taught this, we will most likely see growth for these schools that we haven’t seen since the early 80's.
Since the vast majority of religious educational institutions at all levels are already becoming more conservative than ever with many recent additions of anti-trans policies to match their existing anti-GLBT policies.
We also have a major US/world leader who openly accepts and promotes restorative/reparative/exgay therapy. This WILL have a direct impact on students at religious schools and those in religious homes.
As disheartening as these developments are we at HeartStrong hold to the same hope we have held for more than 20 years. That is the hope that while our government might betray citizens and might deploy tactics to destroy what millions of Americans think is right, we still have the right and the freedom to reach out to others and do everything possible to save and enrich the emotional and physical lives of those who come to us for hope and help.
For so many of them a future allowing them to embrace who they are seems difficult and impossible.
HeartStrong is here to show them the way to full self- acceptance and help deter the self-harm perspective that so often occurs.
Thank you for supporting HeartStrong and for enabling us volunteers to increase our efforts to reach more people. In reality, it doesn’t matter who governs the country if we are able to help the unloved and unwanted in our world to love themselves and know that they are loved as they are.
Co-founder, Executive Director