guest post by Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls
It’s an honor to write to you today to share a bit about why I love Our Family Coalition, and why I’m urging you to support OFC generously this holiday season.
I’m the proud son of two amazing moms, and in 2011, as a 19-year-old college student, I spoke about my family to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee. They were considering a ban on same-sex marriages, which our Supreme Court had found constitutional just two years before.
When a videotape of that speech went viral on YouTube, it became clear that my defense of my family – and of the dignity and worth of all our families – touched a nerve. Our recognition was long overdue.
A lot has happened in the eight years since then. I’ve gotten an even keener appreciation of the importance that visibility, inclusion and community holds for LGBTQ families. And I’ve come to know who’s been making a difference in that work. Our Family Coalition has been providing visibility, advocating for inclusion, and building community for our families since I was barely old enough to spell out L-G-B-T-Q.
I’m proud to now serve as an Iowa State Senator. When I ran for this seat, education was central to my platform. Iowa public schools taught me most of what I know, and I feel that we have a moral responsibility to make education better and more accessible. That’s why OFC’s stellar work for LGBTQ families in our schools means so much to me.
And this work is getting to a critical point right now: after ensuring LGBTQ-inclusive education is part of state education code, subject matter standards, and textbooks, perhaps the most consequential chapter of this work is just beginning: helping schools and teachers bring this content into the classroom in an accurate, effective way.
You should know that the incredible leadership OFC has provided around this in California spreads to other states working on LGBTQ-inclusive education, by way of example, inspiration, and more. This year, OFC launched LGBTQHistory.org, a website providing resources and materials to support K-12 educators nationwide who are just beginnng to teach LGBTQ-inclusive history. This, all while training more than 1,000 educators and school community members throughout California in 2019!
I hope you will join me in supporting this critical work by this vital organization, by making a generous donation today!