Written by Phoebe . . . I have a voice. I really do. But when you have been through something like my family has been through, there’s a period of time where you lose your voice. You’re broken. You’re probably at a point where you need to talk to people but sometimes you just can’t. Thank you, God, for the people in my life who reached to me when I didn’t even know I needed it. Thank you for the people who lifted me up on the days when I was down. Thank you to my friend who said I was entitled to go through emotions, but that I couldn’t stay in those emotions. I had to experience and go through them. I couldn’t skip them or go around them but rather I had to move through them.
Over the last several years my voice has started to return. I found a renewed spirit, pushing me to advocate for fair laws. This is way out of my comfort zone. But I am a citizen, I am a voter, and I am entitled to laws which are fair to everyone. Unfortunately, the registry laws are not fair to everyone. One of the most frustrating things I have experienced is the feeling that I, as an individual, am not important to lawmakers. That I as an individual don’t deserve to be heard. That the only way I will get anywhere is if I am supported by an advocacy group. Everyone has a story, everyone has opinions. I challenge you to join NCRSOL so that our lawmakers will hear you, too. I wish I could tell you that they would listen to you as a stand-alone individual, but generally that is not the case. My very first call to a lawmaker’s office included the question, “What group are you with?” My naïve answer was, “Group? I am an individual citizen.” Needless to say, I got nowhere and the lawmaker would not speak with me. That’s just one example but there have been many more. I still encourage you to advocate as an individual, but I also encourage you to join a group. We deserve to be heard.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Be a change agent…