Guest Blogger

LGBT Leaders Share Their 2015 New Year's Resolutions

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 04, 2015 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: 2015, LGBT leaders, New Year, New Year's resolution

Editor's Note: Guest blogger David Mariner is the Executive Director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community. A lifelong advocate and activist, he focuses mostly on LGBT advocacy, HIV/AIDS, and progressive politics. He blogs at

It's that time of year that we start thinking about our goals and plans for the year ahead. I asked several of our LGBT community leaders to share their resolutions for the coming year. Some resolutions are very personal (self-care resolutions for these hard workers are encouraged) and many are about the work ahead for our movement.

Presented here, unedited, are their resolutions.

Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry

evan-wolfson-small.jpg"My resolution for 2015 as we drive toward our long-sought, hard-fought goal of winning marriage nationwide is not to drop the ball, but to keep doing the work that is winning until we have actually won. Winning the freedom to marry in 35 states has been transformative, but I want all 50."

Cedric Harmon, Many Voices

cedric-harmon-small.jpg"Holding in my heart the waves of citizen activists who took to the streets in the final months of 2015: I resolve to remain attuned to the voices of those frequently dismissed and misunderstood. In any justice conversation, I resolve to include the voices of youth, women, elders, immigrants, the homeless and the LGBT community. Finally, I resolve to maintain awareness when I am not the one who should be speaking and when listening is the more powerful thing to do."

Kate Kendell, Esq., National Center for Lesbian Rights

kate-kendell-small.jpg"There is no doubt that 2014 was a groundbreaking year for marriage equality and general visibility for LGBT people. We have hit our tipping point, but we do a great disservice to our movement and our history if we mistake this tipping point for a finish line. Because as LGBT people we are literally everywhere, issues of racism, economic inequality, transphobia, sexism and immigrant-bashing are LGBT issues. We are not done until ALL our LGBT brothers and sisters live with full justice. We can lead the way to a more perfect union."

Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Trans Women of Color Collective

lourdes-ashley-hunter-small.jpg"My new year's resolution is to breathe more, take more walks in the park with my dog and to spend more time with my family!"

Robyn Ochs; Speaker, Teacher, Writer, Activist

robyn-ochs-small.jpg"Among my commitments for 2015 -- and beyond -are to stand against racism by engaging in serious conversations with other white folks who have not yet had deep conversations about race, racism and white privilege; to help nurture new leaders -- not to take my place, but to ensure that there are even more of us working for social justice; and to better learn when to step up and when to step back so that others have space to step up."

The rest are after the break.

Tico Almeida, Freedom to Work

tico-almeida-small.jpg"For more than five decades, Cuban-Americans like me and my family have gathered for New Year's Eve celebrations and lifted a glass to toast, "Next year in Cuba!" As 2014 closes with an historic Cuba peace agreement from our President Barack Obama, our Pope Francis, Tom Donahue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and so many more leaders from civil society and labor unions, it's now time to make that 50-year old toast a reality in 2015. I believe we need more people-to-people diplomacy between LGBT Americans and LGBT Cubans. As a gay Cuban American, I am personally committed to promoting open, honest, and independent dialogue between our LGBT movements in a way that promotes freedom and fairness for the LGBT people of both the United States and Cuba. My current resolution is, "Next year in Cuba!"

Dan Choi; Iraq Veteran, LGBT Activist

dan-choi-small.jpg"This year marks my fifth year as a civilian. My resolutions for this year are typical for returning soldiers, I suppose: learn mindfulness and practice patience and love in a community I am learning and finally joining. I am also excited to rekindle the fire this November 11th, Veterans Day, with all the arrestees from the Don't Ask Don't Tell battle, five years ago. As we reconvene I am excited to check in with the heroes who sacrificed all to force change through a community and nation's demand. As we enter this new year, let's rekindle, check-in with each other, and be deliberate in our connections, mindful in our relations and ever curious to see what we are capable of."

Earl Fowlkes, Center for Black Equity

earl-fowlkes-small.png"I have been reflecting on the events of 2014 as I put together my resolutions for 2015. I resolve that while I will continue to be an advocate for social justice issues especially those that impact the lives of the LGBT community, I would be remiss if I did not put fighting for social and legal justice for Black men at the top of my list. The wanton slaughter of young Black males by law enforcement officers must be stopped and while I don't have the solutions to end this injustice, I can work towards making certain that the rule of law is applied fairly toward everyone."

Ruby Corado, Casa Ruby

ruby-corado-small.jpg"In 2015 I want to continue serving my clients at Casa Ruby Multicultural Lgbt Center and I want to bring expanded programs such as emergency housing/shelter And expand our job and career services."

Christopher Wood, LGBT Tech Partnership

christopher-wood-small.jpg"My personal commitment in 2015 focuses on three key areas - access, connectivity and a sustainable path. Several projects will help me accomplish this commitment - 1. The LGBT Technology Partnership will continue efforts at the state and federal level to stop the blocking of LGBT content in public schools and libraries. #DontBlockLGBT 2. The LGBT Technology Institute will put cellphones in the hands of homeless LGBT youth this winter; a first of it's kind program - Connect 4 Life. 3. My husband and I will continue to assist with Mary's House, the first LGBT elderly home in Washington, D.C. 4. I will continue to teach entrepreneurship in West Virginia and launch several business out of the colleges new business incubator. Each of these four projects drive to improve a different part of society but all create sustainable paths for successful, healthy individuals."

Marco Antonio Quiroga, Immigration Equality

marco-antonio-quiroga-small.jpg"2014 was a year full of meaningful progress for our LGBT immigrant community. Immigration Equality won critical relief for over 600 asylum-seekers and individuals trapped in the dysfunction immigration detention system. Our movement won deportation relief for millions in our immigrant community through Obama's executive order on immigration, including up to 30,000 LGBT individuals who arrived as youth. After over 20 years worth of prayers, I might not have to live another day with the fear of loosing my mother to deportation. The struggle continues however because this is all temporary. In addition, too many of the 267,000 undocumented LGBT adults in our community were excluded from this chance for relief. My resolution for 2015 is to continue the fight for the lasting solution we all deserve and ensuring no one is left behind."

Rebecca Isaacs, Equality Federation

rebecca-isaacs-small.jpg"The stories of advocates who have successfully pushed for nondiscrimination ordinances or who stood up for fairness in their communities have inspired me to double-down on our commitment to Equality Federation's mission to win equality. With the astounding pace of marriage victories over the last year and more to come, we need to continue the fight on all fronts, from marriage to nondiscrimination and more. As I travel around the country, I am so inspired by activists who are making a difference in their communities. We're on a roll, and I'm ready to see 2015 be a landmark year for our movement!"

Scout, LGBT HealthLink

scout-small.jpg"My advocacy new years resolution is I'd like to raise the grades of at least five states on their LGBT tobacco report cards. And I'd like to have states enhance their policy work on LGBT cancer too. I know it won't happen this year but I hope to get LGBT data collected on the cancer registry too. Oh and speaking of data, in Spring of this year we'll probably come out with a new enhanced way to collect LGBT data, so I'd like to see surveys that only collect LGB consider this option instead."

What will you do to make the world a better place for LGBT people in 2015? Share your resolution on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #LGBTresolution.

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