This weekend, I went on a retreat to Angola NY with a group called Unity and needless to say it was a phenomenal experience! My boyfriend has been talking about this retreat since December 2009 and the amazing experience he has had in the previous years as an attendee. This year he was one of the team leaders. Let me give you some background information about the retreat. This event is under “Always Our Children” initiative for LGBT students, their allies and parents. It basically is an educational retreat where you interact with other members of the LGBT community and learn from their experiences.
This year we had 30 retreatants and a couple of guest speakers. The speakers talked about a varied number of topics like relationships, having gay siblings, being LGBT allies etc. My favorite talk was by a same sex couple who had been together for 17 years and got married recently in Massachusetts. It was amazing to hear about how they met, their families’ reacti0n, their wedding and their journey together. The other favorite part of the weekend was my boyfriend’s talk on relationships. He highlighted the key events of his life and the people he has met through the course. Strangely enough I feel so close to him even though I already knew about the events and people he was talking about.
Going on this retreat helped me realize that even though things are not perfect, there is hope for the LGBTQ community. Even though we don’t have equal right we have come a long way from where we were a decade or two ago. This weekend has given me so much hope and so many new friends that I really do feel optimistic about the future.