June 6, 2012
I met James Robinson of GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services at a showing of the movie "For the Bible Tells Me So". I knew immediately I had met an extraordinary man. Here was an articulate, compassionate, honest man, imbued with integrity, unafraid to take a stand for both GLBT rights and faith — a far cry from the images we see so often in the news. As I began to learn more about GLBTAYS, I became even more impressed. Advocacy for GLBT youth is urgently needed when the authority figures in a young person's life may be the very ones who are heaping vitriol upon them. It's a serious problem; from May 1 to May 13 (Mother's Day) ten young people committed suicide after being bullied. Nearly one every day. One of those was 7 years old. These kids need to know beyond a doubt that someone is there for them, that someone will stand between them and those who have targeted them for hatred. James is that someone in our area. I've watched GLBTAYS work tirelessly to support a student bullied by a teacher at a local high school, persevering and determined that things would be made right despite apparent indifference from the school board. I've watched GLBTYAS reach out to the community on behalf of a troubled teen from our area who was in a dangerous home situation. When my own work for the GLBTQ community becomes burdensome, when hope is so fragile a single breath could destroy it, when anger at injustice reddens everything I see, James is there, calm, courageous, constant — always working, always giving, always caring. His is the soul of GLBTAYS, the force that gives it life, and is reflected in its every activity. We need the services that GLBTAYS provides and we need them badly; James ensures we have them. He and the organization have my deepest admiration.
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MY ROLE:General Member of the Public