As a human being coexisting with others, and especially as a business owner, I strive to practice the proverb “live and let live”. I love the differences I see all around me and honestly the ones I don’t, I still try to respect. As long as you don’t infringe upon the rights and happiness of those around you, why shouldn’t you get to live a life that’s fulfilling and be true to yourself?
If struggle makes you stronger, then the LGBTQIA community is one of the strongest groups of people around. I recently had the honor of photographing The Magic City Acceptance Center’s 2018 Prom. It was heartwarming to be surrounded by happy people who felt comfortable to be their true selves. To quote their website, “The Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) provides a safe, supportive and affirming space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) people and their allies ages 13-24 in Birmingham, Alabama.” You may visit their site here. http://magiccityacceptancecenter.org/index.html
Magic City Acceptance Center in Birmingham, AL, and places alike are doing important work! Having a safe place to go, to feel a sense of community and acceptance is crucial. If you would like to show your support financially, it’s very easy to make donations right on their website.
In addition to the MCAC website, there are many resources online to further your understanding of the LGBT community. One such site is The Human Rights Campaign website; it is full of valuable information. Here are a few highlights based on a survey conducted of “more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17.” Visit their site to read more. https://www.hrc.org/youth-report/view-and-share-statistics
- LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to be harassed at school
- 68% of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT from elected officials; only 16% hear positive messages from politicians
- 26% of LGBT youth say their biggest problem is not feeling accepted by their family, trouble in school/bullying, and a fear to be out/open
In the words of John Lennon, “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love; it matters only that you love.”
BANG Images is an inclusive company rooted in loving people; all cultures and the LGBTQIA community are welcome! And for those of you who would like a little clarification on what all these lovely letters stand for, you may visit this site, which I have found helpful. https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/educated/glossary.html