Equality is vital, but joy must come first.
So says the new community-based group Equality Connecticut, “dedicated to advancing LGBTQIA+ equality and fostering a sense of queer joy and belonging in every corner of Connecticut,” as the organization’s announcement states.
The group has identified its themes as “Power” and “Joy”.
“We see these two priority areas as deeply connected. Our power comes directly from our joy. It is only by being together, by truly seeing each other, and by sharing our experiences that political change becomes possible,” says the announcement.
Therefore, social events will be a big priority. “Stay tuned,” says Matt Blinstrubas, long-time LGBTQ+ and HIV activist and member of the advisory board. Blinstrubas is also running the group’s daily activities until staff is hired.
The board’s other immediate goal is to listen, he says. “We want to be really intentional in building out a truly community led policy center that is very deliberative and intersectional. So this year is really about knowledge building, research, and dialogue on a future policy platform, while finding ways to rally to work already in progress.”
Under its “power” focus, the group’s plans are: “rigorous research and advocacy on the needs of LGBTQ+ people; mobilizing the collective voice of LGBTQ+ people to advance laws and policies necessary to protect our community; mobilizing the LGBTQ+ community to meaningfully show up in solidarity for social change; increasing public and private resources for LGBTQ+ organizations and services, and supporting a leadership pipeline of young LGBTQ+ social justice leaders.”
And in the “joy” category: “developing initiatives, events, and special projects to bring LGBTQ+ people together to socialize and experience joy; celebrating our histories of LGBTQIA+ people in Connecticut; supporting LGBTQ+ arts, culture, and creative expression, and educating the public on the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Connecticut.”
The group says that “Equality Connecticut stands on the shoulders of countless activists and decades of organizing and positive change in Connecticut.”
The board invites anyone to write firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a discussion, either one-on-one or at a bar, place of worship, barber shop, etc.