Wander into my office on most days and you’ll find me reminding my stellar staff to find the fun in what they do. Social justice work of any kind is hard work. You’re working to right a wrong, to balance an inequality. You’re working for justice – moral rightness – which can be an exhausting challenge for the best of people. Remembering to find the fun, to laugh, and (in the case of A Woman’s Place (AWP) staff) to occasionally dance is vital.
It’s what I love about fun. Surely you’ve heard of fun. If not fun., you had to have heard of some of their songs. One day, every time I got into and turned on my car, one of their songs was playing on the radio. We Are Young. Some Nights. They are products of fun. that have soared to the top of charts – and any number of us have sung along as they climbed their way to number one. A band name that says it all, hit songs that get you up out of your seat, AND they are advocates for LGBT rights.
Jack Antanoff said it best in his Spinner interview. “Being part of a band of three straight men, we felt there was an inherent power in the fact that we aren’t gay, and yet we still care and we have a voice – there’s a responsibility there. There are moments in history where it’s vital [to have a voice] and anyone that is not standing up for the LGBT community is a huge part of what’s holding them back.” Check out his blog for the Huffington Post, Straight Allies: The Importance and the Realities and their interview with Xtra!.
June is LGBT Pride Month and AWP knows that – whether you are gay or not, whether you are a victim of domestic violence or not – we have a voice and we have a responsibility. There is an inherent power and strength in caring about our whole community… and in having a voice for social justice.
In their hit song Some Nights, the question is posed early on – What do you stand for? I try to keep that question front and center in my mind. It’s infused in my professional choices. I work to instill it in my kids. It is a guide in the choices we have to make day in and day out. It should make each of us stop and think. I’ve made a life of standing for social justice, and that choice has to be in everything I do.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?
Ifeoma U. Aduba