Even Judy Shepard thinks you should vote. In a recent talk at Webster University Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard said that voter apathy was a black mark on our country. It was so nice to hear someone else advocating for the power of voting.
There were other interesting intersections between Judy Shepard’s speech and the reproductive justice movement. For example Judy Shepard continually advocated telling “our stories” and how personalizing issues is essential in the fight to erase hate. Jennifer Baumgardner‘s book, Abortion and Life, seeks to do the same thing for women who have had abortions. Baumgardner who created the “I had an Abortion” project seeks to liberate women from the secrecy of abortion. Her book shows photos and shares stories of women who have had abortions—some famous, some not—and by doing so personalizes the issue of choice.
If we want people to understand the reality of abortion then we have to be willing to share our stories. We cannot let fear silence us. Similarly, if we want people to understand the intersection of LGBTQ issues, Reproductive Justice issues and matters of faith then people have to speak up about their experiences of living these intersections. We need Catholic lesbians who will talk about abortions and Jewish gay men who talk about sex-ed in schools. We need trans communities partnering with faith communities to talk about bodily autonomy and access to good reproductive health care. If we don’t all start raising our voices, by voting, by talking, by speaking out, how will anyone know that we exist? How will anyone know our needs aren’t being met? I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, I didn’t know there were people of faith who believed that. Well of course you didn’t because people are talking about it. So let’s talk, let’s vote, let’s SHOUT FAITH ALOUD.