By BTL Staff
KALAMAZOO – Jim Knox and Tom Seiler, the president and the secretary of the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center, have issued a challenge to the greater LGBT community of Michigan. Between now and Jan. 31, the pair will match, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 of donors’ contributions.
Knox and Seiler explained the reason for their gift in a recent letter that was sent out to Resource Center members and friends via email.
“Those who attended author David Levithan’s recent presentation at the Kalamazoo Public Library listened first to a panel of young men and women from the Resource Center Youth Group. They told of coming out to family and friends, of struggling through the disapproval of schools and their home communities, of hoping for a brighter, more welcoming, future. Their personal stories were powerfully emotional and earned them a standing ovation from a packed house,” the letter read.
Knox and Seiler also mentioned protestors outside the library warning against promotion of the ‘gay agenda.’ “They were polite and not directly threatening, but they were evidence nonetheless of the ever-present opposition to the idea that those who do not fully conform to society’s sexual norms might have–should have–equal justice and equal opportunity,” their letter continued.
“If there were no other reason to support the Resource Center than to encourage the young people who spoke so eloquently that night, that would be enough,” the letter said. “But there are many reasons, and they are why the two of us have combined our resources to challenge you to dig deep and support the Resource Center as generously as you can… We do this because we believe we must. Our community is under attack, as you know, by loud and organized enemies who would have us shrink back into our closets or disappear. If we do not continue to speak up in our own defense, if we do not continue to seek to inform the approachable public about the realities of our lives, we will lose all that we have so painfully gained during the last half-century.”
For more information or to make a donation to the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center, visit http://www.kglrc.org or call 269-349-4234.