Hi, my name’s Trevor Grant, my preferred pronouns are he/him, and I’m an ally of the LGBTQ community.
I wasn’t always the strong ally I am now. In 2008 just before I left for Afghanistan, a close family member came out to me. I responded with the dreaded “are you sure?” and “maybe this is just a phase” responses. I’m not proud of that – but a big part of being human is growing. Since then I have worked on cultivating a broader mindset and making friends with people across the LGBTQ spectrum. I have had the privilege of working in companies that actively encourage diversity and, prior to running for alderman, I have generally been surrounded socially and professionally with progressive people. But running for office has made me realize that unfortunately there is still a lot of LGBTQ hostility right here in Chicago. Given recent events, it is all the more important to me that I give my explicit support to the LGBTQ communities of the First Ward:
To me, being an ally means many things. It means listening (and not just waiting for my turn to speak) to people whose experiences I can never fully understand, but can try. It means calling people out if they make an offensive joke at someone else’s expense. It means taking extra steps to make sure the people around me feel accepted to be themselves.
As I’m writing this, I’m not sure if the two people I’m running against will let me stay on the ballot. One of my opponents emailed me personally stating he is pro-LGBTQ, but is afraid to go against his Church’s teachings on the issue publicly, and the other’s commitment to LGBTQ communities ends at the PRIDE parade. Politics is politics, and the easiest way to not have uncomfortable conversations is to keep people off the ballot. I’ve written this piece to let people know that while the fight for LGBTQ rights is going well in Chicago, it’s not over. Please don’t let the current candidates shrug off this issue. Do your research. Vote on February 26th, 2019.