I initially found out about Swish when I got word that the organization was searching for a new Administrator. Having been unemployed since this past June, and not being able to find a full-time job, I was eager to contribute my time, energy and skills whether it was a part-time job or a volunteer opportunity. After doing some initial research and reading the roles and responsibilities of the position, I was immediately excited to learn more about the organization and to contribute in any way. Luckily, the stars aligned and here I am with Swish!
It’s not typical to be in a part of an organization or company where everyone has the same energy level and commitment to a cause, mission and/or vision. Being unemployed for an extended amount of time is exhausting, and in the fall I was definitely burnt out from my employment status. It has been a true God-send to be with Swish, and being a part of the organization has reinvigorated my confidence and spirit, and I cannot thank everyone enough in the organization for welcoming me with open arms.
It’s the not the first time that the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community have come to my rescue. After joining Swish, I came to realize for the first time ever that some of the most supportive friends and people in my life identify with the LGBT community. Through my days as a figure skater to my times in and out of school- friends, educators, and mentors identifying with the LGBT community have been my lifesavers. They believed in me when my confidence was low, knew my potential before I discovered them, and were shoulders of support during my achievements and challenges.
Although, I’m a born and raised New Yorker, bleed Yankee blue, and a liberal and a Democrat politically, I recognized that I in turn was not supportive enough of my friends in the LGBT community, and this did not sit well for me since my friends have been so supportive of me. I realized that for me it is not enough to raise my hand and just be counted as a person who believes that the LGBT community should receive equal treatment in society and in law. I need to express my support for my friends and the entire LGBT community by demonstrating what I believe in and for me that’s by contributing my experiences, skills, love, and voice with the community and to the cause.
As the movement in the U.S. and around the world grows stronger to bring about equality and respect for the LGBT community, I believe that it’s my responsibility, as a friend and citizen, to make sure they have the same rights that I do. Having grown up as an only child and with my most of my family members living abroad, my friends are my family, and I love them dearly and would do anything for them. My LGBT friends have supported and stood by me through my toughest moments, and it’s time that I stand up for them. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I am able to lend my time and skills to fight for equality for all. This June, I will participate in the NYC Pride March for the first time, and I’m so thankful that I’ll be doing it with my family, friends and Swish.