National LGBTQ Documentation Project, 2009-2010*
Eighty-six images from this project are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Freedom is a word and concept that has particular resonance for my family. My great-grandparents fled the political turmoil of Spain for Cuba a century ago. Short decades later, there was a second family exodus when my parents, as teenagers, left Cuba after the revolution, in search of freedom and democratic values in the United States.
Born in the U.S., I am a citizen of the country where the quest for freedom was the catalyst for its creation, as well as the essence of the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Americans believe the freedom to love is part of our unalienable rights but for me, it is not. As a gay woman in America, I am denied the right to love. Discriminated against for loving a partner of the same sex, I cannot marry my partner, adopt a child with her, file taxes with her, or retain the legal right to visit her bedside should she fall ill.
LGBT citizens are denied over 1,100 federal rights, and countless other state rights. This battle for equality has been so bravely fought by the current (and so many lost) icons of the gay movement, and today the old warriors seek to pass on their dedication and passion to a new generation of leaders as the fight must go one until all citizens are treated equally under federal law.
* The text above is from the project overview written in 2009.