Between All of Us: Quotes of the Community

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-16T05:21:17-04:00 June 3rd, 2010|Guides|

compiled by Jessica Carreras


“My parents and church community instilled in me the value of community service, and the importance of investing time and energy in causes that promote positive change you believe in.” – Julia LeBrell of Dearborn, Southeast Michigan Dyke March legal chair and volunteer coordinator; Issue 1820, May 20, 2010


“I knew my choices as a kid and played it safe, selling out a childhood for a roof. These kids are in a tougher spot.” -Dan VanderLey of Detroit, Ruth Ellis Center volunteer; Issue 1817, April 29, 2010


“I surround myself in this gay bubble where I want to know what’s going on in the community. People have told me that the reason why I think the LGBT community has center stage in media is because all I ever do is look up that information.” – Frank Vaca of Potterville, Lansing Community College Gay-Straight Alliance volunteer; Issue 1815, April 15,2010


“As social workers, we must remind this precious world of the hope to heal, the hope to love, the hope to accept and the power to dig deep within one’s soul in search of the truth.” – Christopher Shaw of Detroit, co-president of Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies in Social Work at Wayne State University; Issue 1814, April 8, 2010


“There is so much negativity spread about Detroit, even by people who live in our very own region. It needs to stop. Say nice things about Detroit! Not just because we should, but because they’re true.” – Rachel Lutz of Bloomfield Hills, board member of Preservation Wayne and Equality Michigan; Issue 1813, April 1, 2010


“Inventing my own queer fairy-tale for my gender failures helped me get through some tough times, but having a queer adult in my life would have saved me from a lot of depression and from making a lot of mistakes.” -Julien Lanway of Ferndale, Wayne State University Speech and Language Pathology graduate student; Issue 1811, March 18, 2010

“I received a Purple Heart and an Honorable Discharge for my service to this country during the Vietnam War. I’m certain my fellow troopers could have cared less about who I choose to love when I saved their lives.” – John DiDonato of Warren, Forum Foundation chair; Issue 1806, Feb. 11, 2010

“I think one of the greatest assets that west Michigan has to offer to the LGBT community as a whole in Michigan is our strong network we have built.” -Jena Lewis, Grand Rapids; activist and trans educator; Issue 1752, Dec. 31, 2009

“I believe there are great parallels between the gay and leather communities, but a lack of communication and basic understanding has left us with as nearly as great a divide as between the straight and gay worlds.” – Dale Ross of Berkley, founding member of Leather Institute for Education – Detroit; Issue 1751, Dec. 17, 2009

“It has been great working with an ethnically diverse community. Learning about different cultures and working toward the betterment of our community creates trust and understanding.” – Reynaldo Magdaleno of Ferndale, Karibu House board president and co-chair of Detroit Latin@z; Issue 1749, Dec. 3, 2009

“I really believe that each of us needs, in some way, to give of ourselves.” -Jack Miller of Ferndale, Affirmations volunteer; Issue 1745, Nov. 5, 2009

“I am an advocate. I am a supporter. I work to expose truths (and lies) in the forum of contemporary art.” -Monica Bowman of Ferndale, owner of The Butcher’s Daughter art gallery; Issue 1744, Oct. 29, 2009

“When I get a call from someone telling me he or she is married with children and is gay or lesbian, I want to tell them: been there done that. My own experiences in being the whole gay person that I am help me relate one-on-one to those I minister to.” -Rev. Mark Bidwell of Ferndale, pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit; Issue 1743, Oct. 22, 2009

“Doing volunteer work is the first time in my life that I feel I am doing what I should be doing. The longer I do it, the more I want to do it. On a daily basis, it reaffirms that I am an active participant in the LGBT community as well as in life and not just someone watching from a distance.” – Jon Fitzgerald of Royal Oak, Affirmations volunteer; Issue 1738, Sept. 17, 2009

“It is my goal for young people to see themselves not as they are today but who they can be tomorrow. Through life coaching, we can develop a plan to help young adults help themselves map out a path to that future.” Cleney Matlock of Detroit, Ruth Ellis Center drop-in manager and life coach; Issue 1733, Aug. 13, 2009

“I believe in being visibly out whenever safely possible, so I am totally out at work, and often discuss LGBT issues with my fellow employees and office manager as they come up.” -Torii Hamilton of Auburn Hills; Affirmations volunteer and member of LGBT group GLOBE at Ford Motor Company; Issue 1732, Aug. 6, 2009

“Being a vocal advocate for the LGBT community has been a double-edged sword. There have been some severe consequences. That said, I want to be very clear that the losses pale in comparison to the gains. I live boldly and honestly. I feel that I am completely true to myself and that I am using my heterosexual privilege to leverage change.” -Colette Beighley of Spring Lake, assistant director of the LGBT Resource Center at Grand Valley State University; Issue 1731, July 30, 2009

“I have to be involved – I live and work in Michigan! I want my community to have opportunities for everyone – gay, straight – whatever. I feel we have a responsibility to stand up for what we believe in, and I’m fortunate to have found my voice through community action.” -Monique Goch of Lansing; Michigan Pride outreach coordinator and head of Suits and the City; Issue 1724, June 11, 2009

“Residents of the community are so unaware of our existence. Perhaps they imagine there are gay people, but not here. I want to chisel away at heteronormativity and let people understand that queer people really do exist, and they are living right next to you in silence.” – Nicholas Kobel of Tawas City, creator of the Tawas Area LGBT Community; Issue 1720, May 14, 2009

“I feel that one of the biggest problems is ignorance and lack of knowledge. If someone doesn’t get out there and try to change things, nobody will.” -Tiff Thompson of Hazel Park, co-president of Wayne State University’s GLTBT Alliance and co-founder of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Community; Issue 1716, April 16, 2009

“The best part about working for the Spectrum Center is the amazing people I’m privileged to work with. We have a tremendous bond, and we work hard, but we also make sure to have fun.” -Kevin Correa of Ann Arbor, Spectrum Center employee; Issue 1713, March 26, 2009

“I think that there is a role for everyone as we move toward equality for all. Positive action, no matter how small it may seem, will keep expanding the awareness that everyone can make a difference.” -Narda Beauchamp of Kalamazoo, president of the southwest Michigan chapter of PFLAG; Issue 1712, March 19, 2009

“Pets are very important for our health and emotional well-being. For people with AIDS, the psychological and physical health benefits of having pets are very significant and this creates a unique dynamic all by itself.” -Jihannh Jones of Roseville; head of the Wonderful Animals Giving Support program at the Michigan AIDS Coalition; Issue 1709, Feb. 26, 2009

“On the most personal level, I just want people to live in shleimoot (wholeness) – comfortable in both their Jewish and gay skin.” -PJ Cherrin of Royal Oak, Jewish Gay Network of Michigan board president; Issue 1705, Jan. 29, 2009

“When I don’t have to rally in the fight to eradicate HIV transmission, I will feel a great sense of accomplishment.” -Royale Theus of Detroit, Midwest AIDS Prevention Project director of programs; Issue 1703, Jan. 15, 2009

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.