I’m the type off person that likes to know exactly how we’re getting to a destination; accomplishing a goal; or moving forward. This need to plan also includes being able to see the entire map before I start any trip. It can be annoying for others who like to “go with the flow.” The need to plan can be frustrating for me with this work because of the uncertainty. Needless to say, I’ve had to learn to accept and embrace uncertainty. Maybe you are like me?

This worldwide endeavor that so many advocates and educators are on to do the follow up work after activists knock the doors down is an unknown path. It’s full of pitfalls and things that go bump in the night.

It’s also full of beauty for ashes, love we only imagined existed, and freedom to be authentically ourselves without artifice that will make you weep for joy. For that – I’ll gladly learn to accept and embrace uncertainty.

Just like what’s happening in Anne Arundel County change takes time but once it gets going, wow. In 2017 the Transgender Index Code was originally created. In 2019, LGBT cultural awareness classes started, Cpl. Robert Koch became the LGBTQ liaison, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department manned a booth at the inaugural Annapolis Pride festival.

Everything matters. The one pebble that you throw in the pond starts a ripple that keeps going until there are no more ripples to make. By that time, it’s changed the whole pond. It’s up to us to make sure we’re dropping the right pebbles in. This means learning exactly who we are – our history and our science. Not just for ourselves but for those who come behind us. I guarantee you that Harvey Milk, Craig Rodwell, Bayard Rustin, Ruth Simpson, Sylvia Rivera, and many others saw a day when we would all be free. You can help.

You can do your part by:

  • Educating yourself – look to National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” or Dave Isay’s documentary Remembering Stonewall.
  • Respect each other – We are all evolving, and every expression of humanity is valid, even what we don’t yet understand.
  • Don’t assume – get to know the person in front of you, including the cops.
  • If you are LGBTQ, in or out of the community, go tell your story. The “It Gets Better Project” and Story Corps are excellent places to do so. Telling your story benefits LGBTQ people who are seeking to understand themselves and find community. It also helps our allies learn about us and expands their knowledge of the LGBTQ perspective from being based on only the people they know. More importantly, it helps us heal – all of us, and creates a world of possibility where one day conversations like these never have to happen because no one is hurting us anymore because of who we are.
  • Lastly, dismantle barriers to equality in your own spaces. Whether it’s LGBTQ trainings, rethinking your policies, or updating your business forms you are the change we’ve been waiting for.

If you’ve read all the way to the end – thank you. Thank you for doing your part to make the world a better place for all of us. Because the truth is that none of us are free until all of us are free. We all deserve to be free.

A special thank goes out to all the trainers and all the staff at the Anne Arundel County Police Department Training Academy. You guys are rock stars! We need more people like you.

Author Profile

Johanna Dolan
Johanna Dolan
“The principal of Dolan Research International, Johanna M. Dolan brings nearly two decades of personal experience as an entrepreneur, nine years as a professional financial planner, eighteen years as a life coach, and eight years as an ordained minister. She speaks openly and candidly on issues ranging from addiction, dysfunctional relationships, finances, the effects of long term chronic illness on life, and more.”