Rev. Bertram Johnson moderated the panel. The first openly gay African American to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Johnson currently serves as Chaplain at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. A few excerpts from the panel follow.
Charles King, Founder and CEO, Housing Works
“Getting up in the morning and walking out the door is taking your life into your hands. We’ve made life so unbearable hard for [LGBTQ] people who are making such a tremendous effort to live their lives well.”
Ceyenne Doroshow, Founder and Executive Director, G.L.I.T.S.
“What does freedom look like in 2023? We need to organize and have a clear direction of what liberation looks like, and do it in the most peaceful way so that we can be heard and counted in society. Then we’ll be able to stand and say, ‘We’re free.'”
Adrian Mora, Film Student
“We need to focus on suicide prevention, housing, decriminalization of sex work, providing mental health services, and affirming queer youth…because every kid knows how hard it is to be queer in this world. But it’s also reminding them that it’s not just pain and suffering. Queerness is beautiful, powerful, and freeing. There’s always hope that you can live a beautiful, authentic queer life.”