Ryan-Ubuntu, Program Advisor and International Campaigns Officer, Washington D.C.

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Ryan, in his own words: “To ME the word gay is just that, a word, a phrase, an identity that distinguishes myself in this current historical climate as having attractions to members of the same sex. (Sex generally being aligned with the sex organ between my legs)

To me, the essence that the word “gay” is meant to describe is so much more. It is my capacity to love, respect and value the life of another human being in the fullest of capacities.(spiritually, psychologically, physically, emotionally, etc) In my world I am as “average” and boring as everyone else and yet this one small fraction of who I am has in the world around me become the centerpiece of which to transfix one’s gaze. It is but one piece of who I am, and yet a central piece to the very essence of my humanity. Through this lens with which I’ve been given to see the world I’ve come to understand that there is a mystery to us that ought to be exposed and set free. That this capacity for love lives in every one of us and is much more than what may meet the eye at initial glance. That the roots of this sentiment and this essence is capable of shaping the entire world, if only the world would not reverberate so much against it. It is my beauty, my truth and in very many ways my destiny. And while it is but one of many identities that make up the fundamental humanity I share with every other person on this planet, I choose to embrace this culturally, historically time-bound identity because it is through this lens that I have been given a vision of the light that may make us all recognize what we are truly capable of. That it is through our capacities as fellow human beings to see the gifts, talents, strengths and flaws of our fellow persons in the deepest and most sincere ways that we can learn to overcome our differences and the intersections of space that so divide us in our current world.

That I as a “gay man”, and we as an entire “LGBTI community”, every one of us, has the capacity to not only sit and be assimilated into today’s world, but rather that we have great gifts to offer the world through our own abilities to have care and concern for our fellow person.
To what end could this concept be applied and to what extent will LGBTI people be able to influence and shape that end?

Thus my identity politic is staking a claim in the struggle to find acceptance in who we ALL are…every single person on this planet…to accept that which we are and what we are capable of as it relates to the love of our fellow human being. Imagine if we entered into every relationship knowing that no one is perfect? Imagine if we entered into every relationship knowing that our partners were fully equal? Imagine if we considered the life of our fellow being worthy of sacrifice, honor and respect that we give to those whom we love? This to me is a great possibility, but only one we can choose to embrace. We must make that choice every hour of every day.

We are the masters of our own destiny, and this is the direction I can see us headed towards. My life has purpose, meaning, worth and dignity. So does every one else’s. Our difference do matter, including my gender and sexual identity, but our common humanity matters more.”

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