Saving Ourselves Symposium (SOS) 2017 Reflections - J.Christopher

Breathtaking. Mobilizing. Eye opening. Spirit filled. Emotional. Appreciated. Transparent. Personal. Amazing. LIFE CHANGING.

My personal experience at the 2017 Saving Ourselves Symposium hosted by The Red Door Foundation was described above, but has much more to offer than what I can fathom. It wasn't until a little over a year ago that I took an active role in our population of people to truly understand other's differences and obstacles. I was coming in contact with those who have been affected by health disparities that sometimes didn't know where to gain resources. I've come in contact with individuals who have been abandoned by family, discriminated against for embracing self and unapologetically walking in their truth and so much more. It wasn't until I noticed that some of the same people who looked like me were going through things that I hadn't experienced that it became personal.

One of the most transparent moments at SOS was a forum dedicated to understanding the complications and needs of those who make-up the transgender population of people. What I most appreciated about that segment was the authenticity of the conversation in the room. Yes, tensions rose, some walked out and emotions were on high; however, I grew an even deeper appreciation for my trans brothers and sisters. Being that I am close with and fellowship with many trans people, I couldn't remain silent as some of the comments left me uneasy. It is my personal belief that we are all human first and should be treated as such. That there is to be no judgement of morality and spiritual relationships when there isn't even quality and accessible healthcare. As an ally and a genuine supporter of the transgender population of people, it is my mission and goal to continue defending the community and ultimately bring about great and effective change.

I'm am truly appreciative of The Movement and Crescent Care for allowing me and three others the opportunity to convene in such a safe space where our voices were not just heard, but respected and where self-education was inevitable.

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