By Audrey Koh, M.D.
As a young adult, I barely heard the word "lesbian." There was little representation of people like me in the media beyond garish stereotypes. There were few meeting places beyond lesbian bars or gay dance clubs. There were no children conceived by lesbian couples or gay men couples.
We have come a long way. In this millennium, the struggle toward legalized marriage equality has finally been won. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe it; I feel so fortunate to have been part of a civil rights process that is actually working!
Despite the many triumphs of our community, the march to equality is not yet over. Many in our LGBTQ community, even here in the Bay Area, continue to face discrimination, violence, poverty, and isolation. And since last year's election, we've seen that the rights we've fought so hard to secure are, once again, under attack. Our future is hard to predict.
That's why I support Horizons Foundation's Now and Forever Campaign and its visionary goal of identifying more than $100 million in future legacy gifts by Horizons' 40th Anniversary year in 2020. These gifts will help ensure the future for generations of LGBTQ people to live lives of pride, dignity, justice, and joy.
While $100 million seems like an ambitious goal, it is entirely within our reach. Collectively, LGBTQ people own more than $35 billion in Bay Area real estate alone. If even a fraction of our community left some of that wealth to Horizons, our entire community would reap benefits for years to come.
This campaign will help Horizons continue to strengthen hundreds of organizations that do the day-to-day work that secures the rights, meets the needs, and celebrates the lives of LGBTQ people. It will ensure that young people thrive in safe and supportive environments, that our elders can age with dignity, and that we can safeguard and expand the gains we've fought so hard to win. It will ensure that we have the funding to tackle unanticipated challenges to our community.
No one can predict the future. But together, we can build a strong foundation that will secure our community now — and forever.
There are many ways you can help us reach our goal by 2020 and help secure our community's future. To learn how, contact Deb Stallings at 415.398.2333 x103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.