Thursday, September 6, 2012

It Starts With You Training @ USM

The Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity is partnering with GLSEN Southern Maine (the local chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) to present an "It Starts with You" training:

Saturday, Sept. 8
USM/Payson Smith Hall, Room 1 (basement)


The "It Starts with You" Conversation program encourages personal one-on-one conversations between supporters and the people they know -- our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, fellow congregants etc. 

It helps us identify people in our lives with whom we'd like to talk about marriage for same-sex couples, identify why this is sometimes hard and practice with others, and make a plan to engage them in friendly discussion about love and commitment, marriage and family, and how access to marriage  for same-sex couples impacts us and our community.

More than 80% of Mainer voters know someone who is LGBT or a supporter of marriage for same-sex couples, but less than half of those voters have had a conversation about marriage with a supporter.  Voters who have these conversations are TWICE as likely to vote with us! -- so it's a powerful way that supporters can help, just by reaching out in their daily lives.

This program gives people the tools to open peaceful, respectful  conversations that encourage sharing, not debate, and that deepen our understanding of each other.

The video below features formal campaign activities rather than the ordinary personal conversations our training will help us to have with people we know.  But it shows why every conversation matters.