Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
November 23, 2012
We Have So Much To Be Thankful For
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
We hope that your Thanksgiving was as satisfying as was ours. We had a quiet dinner and let our thoughts and conversation go over all the blessings granted us and for which we give thanks.
We are thankful that Obama was re-elected. We don’t judge how good a president he was or will be, but we are certain that the alternative would have been a disaster. Our re-elected President ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, told his Attorney General not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, made LGBT rights a component of US foreign policy, and came out four square for marriage equality.
We are thankful to witness a real change in attitudes. After 32 straight defeats at the ballot box, people in four states affirmed marriage equality. The margins may have been narrow, but who would have thought even twenty years ago—the time our son came out—this was even going to be on a ballot.
We are thankful for API parents who overcame their own fear and confusion and took on the difficult work to learn and understand and accept and respect their LGBT children. They come and help us to convince other parents when they allow us to use their example of rock-hard love and deep appreciation of API family values.
We are thankful for churches that are accepting. It shouldn’t be but it is hard work to live the true Christian dogma of unconditional love. Their clergy preach a glorious gospel of inclusion and welcome in God’s house LGBT’s rejected by other clergy clinging to a narrow vision of God’s love.
We are thankful for new friends who introduced us to a whole community that thrives in spite of adversity. Friends who showed us that to live life runs about the same for everyone: learn, work, forge relationships to last a lifetime, and raise children.
We are thankful for funders who generously gave API Family Pride money enabling us to build capacity, infrastructure, and leadership. Their largesse makes us visible and allows us to keep doing what we are doing, namely, keeping API families together.
We are thankful for our private donors. Often their gifts are from a budget straining under other, urgent demands; often they come with a note: “We love what you’re doing. Please keep it going.” Our donors are our partners; their gifts not only keep the lights on, but also give us feedback showing us we are doing work that fills a need.
We are thankful for volunteers who come and give of their time and talent every time we ask. Their gifts are precious. They are shining stars in our firmament.
We are thankful for our network of organizations and community groups that help us bring the message of equality and justice to all who must hear it, especially community leaders and politicians at all levels.
We are thankful on a personal level for our children. They are all doing what they want to do and they are all safe and they are all fabulous. As they grow into their careers and tell us about it, we stay up to date with the world.
We are blessed.
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride apifamilypride.org