Initially, I was embraced by the stakeholders of the mainstream LGBT movement. I quickly noticed that despite the unifying acronym, the people at the table often did not reflect me or my community. These spaces and conversations were dominated by men, specifically upper-middle-class white cis gay men. Women, people of color, trans folks, and especially folks who carried multiple identities were all but absent. I was grateful for the invitation but unfilled by the company. This was my political awakening.
I was tasked with speaking out about these glaring disparities, about how those with the most access within the movement set the agenda, contribute to the skewed media portrait, and overwhelmingly fail at funneling resources to those most marginalized. My awakening pushed me to be more vocal about these issues, prompting uncomfortable but necessary conversations about the movement privileging middle- and upper-class cis gay and lesbian rights over the daily access issues plaguing low-income LGBT youth and LGBT people of color, communities that carry interlocking identities that are not mutually exclusive, that make them all the more vulnerable to poverty, homelessness, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, hyper-criminalization, violence, and so much more.
— Janet Mock, Redefining Realness