Say “hello” to the badass board of the Promote Love Movement! Each of us joined in an effort to use our unique talents and skills to spread love to our community, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to serve.
Each of us were raised with varying degrees of religious exposure, and we now take those experiences and use them as a platform to build this non-profit dedicated to creating a safe space for our community to connect and heal. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced abuse or trauma while involved in religious organizations. We’ve seen that pain first hand and we’ve seen the damage silence and isolation can do, so now we’re choosing to speak up and come together.
In the picture on the couch, from right to left, you’ll see the founder of PLM Steph Grant (@imsteph), Lindsey Dixon (@ldixondtx), Lacey Brutschy (@itslacey_yall), Joseline Boamah (@joseline__b), and Josh Miller (@josh_dangit90). We’re dedicated to serving the mission and furthering the vision of Promote Love Movement using our various strengths and past experiences as the foundation we’re building on. This part of our lives that had previously set us apart has now helped us connect and grow together, and we’re so humbled to be invited on this journey with you as well.
We look forward to finally meeting you all in person, but until then, here are some teaser from our individual blog posts coming soon!
About 2.5 years ago, I made the conscious decision to live every single day making choices that are in alignment with the things that I value, which is not easy when you are rewiring your brain and learning new ways of living and loving.
I think being my authentic self is essential to my purpose in the world and what I hope to leave behind when my time here is done. By showing up as who I am, while continually learning about who I can become, I first give myself permission to be seen as I am, and in owning that, giving others permission to be themselves as well. By being true to myself, I choose to not negotiate who I am with anyone else, and in that lies the power to do what I know that only I can do in the world.
Graduating high school in the early 2000s in TX meant I didn’t know (at the time) anyone “like me”, and coming out was very isolating. I was immediately emotionally and physically separated from my family, my church community, my religion, and my friends when I moved away to “escape” the reaction and the trauma that came with it.
I am so excited to be part of the PLM and to bring visibility and connection to the many incredible people and stories that are found in our community, and to support our aim that no one feels isolated and afraid to be their true, authentic selves when they come out to their family, friends, work, or church.
When I was growing up, I didn’t have a single gay role model. I wasn’t taught about any icons or titans of the queer movement. The Stonewall Riots were conveniently left out of history lessons, and the AIDS crisis was silently swept under the rug. Drag as a performance art and political statement wasn’t a viable topic in any of my extracurriculars. I felt… Alone. I didn’t know anyone else that was gay, and I definitely didn’t know anyone that identified as somewhere between boy and girl (not that I would let myself explore that at the time).
Representation’s importance cannot be overstated. Seeing yourself in another is critical to human connection and interaction, and is the key to our survival. I want to be the role model that I needed when I was younger. I want others, child and adult, to look at me and say, “I want to be that confident. I want to feel that self-assured, and love myself the way they do.” I’m the most authentic me that I can be in the hopes that it provides permission for others to be the same.
I received a standing ovation from my sorority sisters when I came out. As far as I know, I was the first person to come out as gay while being an active member of a sorority at Southern Methodist University (you might have heard of us – George W. Bush’s Presidential Library resides on campus). I cried when they clapped, mostly out of shock – I thought I would truly be alone, and treated as a pariah. The love I received during my coming out process was nothing short of incredible. Later that year, I began working at the local LGBTQ+ newspaper, The Dallas Voice. While working there, I learned how our community rallied to bring positivity, joy, and solidarity to all LGBT activism.
Since working at the Dallas Voice and noticing the high level of involvement in the Dallas LGBT community, I’ve been working towards strengthening the bonds we have in Dallas. Without a doubt, I see a need for this kind of space – let’s share our stories, form friendships with a fantastic foundation, and let’s heal together.
Individual stories are community stories. My goal is to be visible and vocal for those who cannot. Sharing our stories together can soften hearts and, ultimately, save lives.
Every human being deserves to be loved. Not “I love you….but” Not tolerated. Fully loved for exactly who they are. All I knew was Christianity and the church. Every second of my entire life was consumed by it. When I finally came out in 2007, I lost a lot of people. I quickly found out that people (including my family) preferred me fitting perfectly into that Steph shaped box they created for me. I refused to allow that to be my life any longer. After that, I dealt with a majority of life alone. I moved away and left all things familiar to start a new life for myself.
I constantly felt like I was never good enough no matter how much effort I put into anything. No matter how much I succeeded. No matter how many new friends I made along the way. I felt I didn’t deserve love. I viewed myself as “innately flawed” because of my religious upbringing. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I have been working hard over the past decade to learn how to be good to myself and give myself a damn break. Even after I originally started the PLM years ago I had to step back, go to therapy and work through years of religious abuse before I could continue. The Promote Love Movement was born to bring us together and to remind each of us (including myself) that there is power in sharing our stories. Thanks for being here with us!
PLM MISSION: A safe space for LGBTQ+ & allied individuals raised in any religious environment to come together, share our stories, and #PROMOTELOVE.
PLM VISION: A world that embraces diversity of human connection by promoting inclusion in a global community, and tearing down fear-based barriers that prevent authentic relationships.
Bylaws for Promote Love