Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Shelley
September 28, 2020
June 30, 2020Meet Diana
Meet Diana, one of CASA’s incredible Case Managers. In honor of #PrideMonth, Diana is talking to us about being apart of the LGBTQIA+ community, and the impact CASA is making. Thank you for sharing your story, Diana!
“I came out in North Miami in high school during the ’70s. Those were different times when kids rarely talked about sexual orientation or gender identity. I remember hearing in the news about a movement to ban LGBT teachers from teaching. I remember being so affected by this because I knew that all LGBT folks weren’t pedophiles like they were implying. I found it so hurtful to make such vile accusations about a whole group of people from every age group and ethnicity.
In a way, it helped me come to terms with my sexual orientation and set the path for a lifetime of activism that has opened my mind and heart to all disenfranchised people, and the hardships they (we) face. I’ve never felt the need to be ashamed of my identity. I learned early on, thanks to Anita Bryant, how dangerous denial is. I always felt willing to put myself out there because, for me, living a lie felt more wrong than living my truth. Hiding who I am confirms the notion that I’m not here, nor deserving of rights and dignity. I am, and we all are. My wife and I have been together 31 years this month and legally married 3+ years. We don’t ask for anything more than anyone else and deserve no less. Love is love is love.
Unfortunately, domestic violence does not discriminate. I think the LGBTQIA+ community has danced around the topic so long because the struggle against discrimination always felt more pressing. We have to talk about it! The fact that CASA actively participates in the LGBTQIA+ community and annual Pride parade speaks volumes. Rather than being an LBTQIA+ tolerant agency in the community, CASA actively reaches out to the queer community and says, “We’re here for you too.”
It’s important for me to do meaningful work that helps others, and work that makes the world a little kinder and gentler. I get to do all of that in my work at CASA and so much more. I feel privileged to be able to do this work and perhaps bring some tranquility back to a few homes. The mission of CASA is to educate and prevent domestic violence and to empower survivors to take back their lives. Bringing peace to families, the community, and the planet is our mission. I get to play a small part in that. What worthier cause is there?
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