LGBTQ People and Repressive Legislation Coming Out of the North Carolina Legislature – Press Release + SONG Statement
**SONG statement following the Press Release**
“We are not here to make a case for the South. We are the South” – Paulina Helm-Hernandez
On April 26th – 28th 2013, SONG rolled South to Jacksonville FL, where we joined forces with over 40 other Southern racial and economic justice organizations. This process is a continuation of the 1st Southern Movement Assembly held Sept 2012 in Lowndes County, AL. 30 SONG members, member leaders and staff joined 150 other movement leaders from around the region.
SOUTHEAST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS NETWORK
Mónica Hernández, Regional Coordinator, SEIRN 865-548-6388
Paulina Helm-Hernández, Co-Director, SONG 404-919-1412
América Gruner, Executive Director, CLILA 404-803-4546
firstname.lastname@example.org Isabel Vinent, Deputy Director
She made us better. Jurina was a part of the SONG family, and as a family we grieve the loss of one of our own. One who gave everything she had to this life. One who served on the SONG board and strengthened the organization by reminding all of us why we work so hard. She pushed us all like prizefighters, as she pushed us to be better & stronger. She reminded us to welcome everyone who came in the SONG door, to listen to each other and be curious, to laugh big and wild, to throw exceptionally scandalous queer parties, and to take action. Jurina was a wide open heart and she taught us all to be like that, to be better, to be who we are. And that’s what good coaches do – they don’t push you to be something you’re not or do something you don’t want to do. They demand that you be who you already are and that you do what you didn’t dare imagine you could. We called her Coach because that was how she lived. Inviting people into their best selves.
Thoughts on the Supreme Court and Gay Marriage
Caitlin Breedlove, SONG Co-Director
I wake up, I make coffee, and America is arguing about gay marriage. The television tells us one version of ‘the issues of the day’. We know something different. To me, it looks like an outpouring of complexity, and some of the same old divisions appear against LGBTQ people, and between LGBTQ people: differences in opinion about gay marriage. We live in the South, and as a leader within SONG I have had the opportunity to witness the stories of thousands of LGBTQ people, and part of what that means is that I do not get to pretend that gay marriage does not matter to our base, to our people. I have participated in the sheer joy of how people are connected through love, desire and family, and I reject none of the love that all that brings to our people. In the sea of loneliness that homophobia & transphobia can make, can we dismiss the ways we find each other…the forms that takes? Can we judge the ways queer & trans Southerners find each other? As SONG, we say no. We have followed the path of what this has meant for so many of our people, we have watched, and sometimes, we have participated.