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Forum will address LGBT community’s future needs

Plans for this week’s community forum at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope grew out of the church’s discussions about its upcoming 50th anniversary celebration next year, according to Jerry Calumn, interim development director at the Cathedral. What came out of that meeting, he said, was recognition of a need for an interactive forum to discuss potential issues for the LGBT community in the 2020 election and more.

Calumn said that when church leaders were going around the table to find out what people thought, the opinions varied widely and age was not a factor. Some felt secure about their rights while others didn’t. Some were comfortable with marriage equality, but others thought it could be taken away at any moment. Some believed they had job security, and others wanted protections because they knew they could be fired at any time.

A panel that includes Cathedral of Hope’s Senior Pastor the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas, Dallas Voice publisher Leo Cusimano, Resource Center’s Leslie McMurray representing the transgender community and more will discuss these and other ideas.

“What are we going to do next year, and what should we be focused on,” Calumn asked of the focus for the discussion. “We thought, let’s have a community conversation about it.”

Discussion will also include question ons what we want from our community organizations and how those organizations can be more responsive. And on a more personal note, he said, “I have kids and live in the suburbs now. [So I wonder], how do I do activism and what does it look like?”

Calumn said that while there will be a panel, there will also be several pods focusing on different areas of the community including family, business, community organizations, young adults and trans issues.

He said he hopes representatives from many organizations around the community will be involved. And, he stressted, the evening will be interactive, so people should come ready not just to listen but to talk, plan and laugh.

The community forum takes place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Everyone is welcome.

— David Taffet

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