Over the past 35 years, we’ve come a long way in our work to create a world where all LGBTQ+ people can live safely and openly as our whole selves in all the places we call home. All the progress we have seen, and all that we will see in the future, is only possible through intentional efforts to shift our culture.
A key part of shifting culture is changing the hearts and minds of people in our home communities—and we know that one of the most effective ways to build empathy and understanding is through sharing the authentic stories of who we are. In 2012, when LGBTQ+ people were fighting for the right to marry across the country in courts and through legislation, Washington faced marriage equality at the ballot box. This meant our fight was different. Our rights were not going to be decided by elected officials or judges—it was in the hands of Washingtonians.
Pride Foundation, alongside a coalition of courageous individuals and community organizations from every sector, established the public education campaign Why Marriage Matters Washington—and our community across the Northwest showed up in full force.
Together, through videos, social media, public events, and community outreach, we showed what is possible through authentic storytelling. Sharing our lives and our stories reminds our broader community of the importance of our shared humanity, and is the basis for changing our culture—and creating a world where we can all be who we are, where we are.
Originally printed in Pride Foundation’s 2019-2020 Gratitude Report