LGBT Center of Raleigh

119 East Hargett Street - Raleigh NC 27601 - 919-832-4484

Protesting through Volunteering: Mixing Purpose with Passion

Lisa says "Farewell" to PatWe all have a story.

This is hers…

Lisa is a regular Tuesday morning volunteer at the Center. She shares the time with another Tuesday morning regular. The two make a great volunteer duo, and their commitment to the Center is proven. But the two have not always worked together. Lisa was drawn to the Center through a whirlwind of events. Events that unfolded in the shameful aftermath of HB2, North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom bill.”

Lisa describes herself as a pleaser, one not likely to protest, but for Lisa, there was a breaking point. A point where she would choose to stand up and use her voice. A voice that would get her arrested. Following HB2, Lisa decided she would participate in Moral Monday. And with a clear head and a heavy heart, Lisa decided she was comfortable taking this all the way to the finish line. She decided that she would get arrested.

For someone who is a self-declared pleaser, it is wild to hear of a decision to protest, especially in a thought-out plan that ends in arrest. But fueled with purpose, she marched on. She describes the experience as a sort of coming out. Lisa has always been an ally to the LGBTQ community, but she said she felt as though she had been a closeted ally. She wanted to come out as an ally in a big way. She felt that if someone like her, a pleaser in a position of privilege, was willing to go this far for a cause, she might be able to open some eyes.

Lisa was arrested that day. And she found her way to the LGBT Center of Raleigh by way of sentenced community service time. She wanted to use that time to further serve the LGBTQ community, and she wanted to help in a meaningful way. Lisa is big on human interaction, and enjoys both the foot traffic through the Center and the digital traffic we get over the phone. She decided to continue volunteering, well past her requirement, because this is something she believes in. And at the Center, she can mix purpose with passion.

So, for everyone who thinks their voice does not matter, remember Lisa. Remember how a self-declared pleaser, who never considered protesting, got arrested with purpose. And let that purpose push her to continue on, protesting through volunteering.

published on 6/6/2017 • written by Jack Butler

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