An Open Letter on Amendment One

May 9, 2012

Dear Wake Forest Community,

Last night, I went to bed with a heavy heart, devastated that the people of our state could have passed such a harmful, divisive, and mean-spirited amendment. This morning I woke up and knew that there are things that I need to say to you.

First, this is not over. Amendment One passed, but it will eventually be repealed. And the bottom line is, we never should have been voting on these issues in the first place. Civil rights do not belong on a ballot.

Second, I am heartened by the love, support, and activism I have seen across our campus, our community, and our state these past few months. I am inspired by the hours that you spent writing letters, making phone calls, fasting, protesting, working the polls, and having meaningful conversations with people in your dorms, your families, and your organizations. I know that this was not easy, and that many of you were met with hatred, fear, or dismissal. It takes a huge amount of courage to stand up for that which you believe when the world is telling you to be silent. I am so proud of all of you.

Finally, throughout this campaign, we have all heard negative messages about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people, and the allies who love us. The proponents of this amendment have said, implicitly and explicitly, that our lives are not as valuable, our relationships not as meaningful, and our families not as worthy. This is not true. Every single one of you is beautiful and perfect, exactly the way you are.

Please know that if you need support, I am here for you. You can call or email me any time. There are many other campus resources available to you as well, including the Counseling Center, the Chaplain’s Office, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. I am happy to work with any of you individually to find someone who can give you the support you need.

You are loved and supported by people all across the Wake Forest community. You are loved and supported by me, and my family. You are loved and supported by each other. Drop by the LGBTQ Center to see the messages of love that people have left on the door. Take a moment to write one of your own.

You are our future, and I believe in you. The passage of Amendment One is a setback, but it is not the end. I will be here, standing at your side, as we continue to create change. Together, we will build a better North Carolina, and a better world.

In partnership,

Angela Mazaris, Ph.D.
Director, LGBTQ Center