So, I live in Baltimore. A city on the rise. A city doing amazing things. A city with a tight-knit neighborhoods that look out for each other. However, where it could see improvements, I would argue, is in creating enough resources for all facets of the LGBTQ community. I want to take this time to say that we need to do more for the LGBTQ community in this city. Baltimore is in such an exciting, and yet curious, place, especially when it comes to gay rights and visibility. It's smack dab between the great gay metro areas of DC, NYC, and Philly. As great as this is, as much as you think it would benefit the city, I would argue it brings with it some disadvantages. We don't get the same influx of people, our city center isn't as robust, and not as many gay bars and gay organizations end up being as vital. And in turn, the community suffers.

I love this city. I do. I want to see more gay bars pop up again. I want to see more safe spaces for our brothers and sisters to congregate. I want to see more non-profits helping out,  being visible, and providing opportunities for every person in the city. 

There are many questions. And they can't all be answered in a single blog post. And they can't all be solved as I write this at 11pm. But here are some thoughts to consider as the year kicks off: what are we doing for LGBTQ youth in this city? What are we doing about the violence towards Trans people in this city? How are we creating a community that feels safe to come out? What are we doing to make our neighborhoods more welcoming? 

We have amazing LGBT families in this city, and the surrounding areas. I want to see Baltimore be a city that every LGBTQ person, whether they are partnered, single, or just coming out, feels safe and secure and has the resources to turn to. I don't see enough of that here. I don't see enough dollars going to that. I want to see monuments to our case. I want to see classrooms teaching the story of our movement. I want to see families, of all races, an integral part of city life.

This is a city with untapped potential. And one of my goals for this year, and beyond, is to make the LGBTQ community in Baltimore a more vibrant, welcoming, inclusive, and one-of-a-kind experience for everyone. I know we can do it.