In 2010, GetEQUAL launched with a call for full equality now. The organization was born out of a sense of urgency from LGBTQ people across the country who were demanding more than the slow-paced, heteronormative, nicely-packaged version of "equality" that was popular at the time,
Thanks to the organizing of GetEQUAL activists -- and many other radical organizing groups working to shift policy and change culture in their communities -- the call for full LGBTQ equality has been adopted by those same groups that were dismissive just five years ago. But just as in 2010, the urgency, energy and needs of LGBTQ people today are again beyond the vision of most community and political leaders.
The inspiring leadership of Black and Latin@ trans folks fighting for dignity and freedom from prisons and detention centers, the Black queer and trans women leading the movement for Black liberation, and the severity of state violence facing LGBTQ people of color has shifted our organizational lens on what we think is possible and what we know is necessary. "Full equality" is no longer enough. We need liberation.
We need liberation from what we've been told is respectable, reasonable, or possible. We need freedom from the systems that tell us that the white, cisgender, male, heteronormative, affluent lifestyle is the ideal and all other ways of being are less than.
This broader awareness of what's necessary and what's possible informs what we value as an organization, how we want to show up, and where we want to grow.
The following is a statement of values informed by the GetEQUAL staff and grassroots organizing network. This statement reflects the commitments and values that are shared across the organization and will be used as a guiding light and source of accountability and growth for our work together:
- GetEQUAL is a grassroots network that believes the energy, vision, and work toward our collective liberation can and must come from the ground, in communities that are most directly impacted by the work.
- We are actively working to live that commitment in the ways we allocate resources, the issues and campaigns we prioritize, the activists we reach out to and support, the organizations with which we partner, and who/how we hire. We do this because we believe that when those of us who exist on the margins and face the deepest impacts of oppression get free, we all get free. This means we are committed to centering the experiences of transgender people of color, those who are undocumented or detained, those living in rural places, and those who are low income.
- We believe in sharing these and other values with our network and supporters and being as open and honest as possible about the growth and shifts of our work.
- We understand that systems of oppression like white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, homophobia, and transphobia are interdependent and work to keep all of us -- especially LGBTQ people of color -- from living our liberated lives. We organize in places and around issues where the impacts of these systems of oppression intersect.
The story of the last nine months is here: http://www.getequal.org/blog/the-story-of-getequal-and-how-were-changing
If these values resonate with you, we invite you to sign up to organize locally in your community: http://www.getequal.org/connect.html