Category Archives: Families

We are mothers and fathers teaching our children to love and accept each other’s intrinsic humanness. We are sisters and brothers holding the hands of our siblings with great pride in who they are.

Perfil Aliado: Luis “Louie” López

Luis "Louie" Lopez, Jockey retirado y buen padre
Luis “Louie” Lopez, Jockey retirado y buen padre

Mi nombre es Louie López. Soy oriundo de Los Ángeles y en mi juventud era un Jockey. Dado a la constante hambre que pase para mantener mi bajo peso, decidí dejar mi profesión Hípica y me aliste en la Marina, lo cual me trajo a Jacksonville. En el 1990 me casé por primera vez y ese matrimonio nos produjo dos maravillosos hijos, John David y Curren. Quería una hembra pero fui bendecido con mis dos varones.

Cuando John tenia doce años, estábamos convencidos de que el podía ser gay y fuimos concientes de dejar a John saber que nosotros lo aceptábamos, si ese era el hecho. John nunca me dijo que era gay, cosa que siempre me intrigó ya que yo había visto fotos de el en ropas de mujer y con maquillaje. Dado mi poca comprensión, John finalmente me confesó y cuando lo hizo, se presento como una joven transexual que prefería que la llamáramos Nina. En los ojos de Nina (John), ella no era gay, si no ¡alguien que se sentía, y se veía a si misma como una hembra desde su infancia!

He visto personalmente el rechazo, prejuicio y pullas que mi hija ha sufrido. Como padre, puedo ser lastimado por otros, pero en el caso de mis hijos, me corta como una navaja cada vez que pasa. La ironía es que siempre quería una hija y un hijo y al fin de cuentas, es lo que he recibido.

Mi segunda esposa, Susana , y yo continuaremos amando y apoyando nuestros hijos adultos y ayudando a Nina en el curso que ella ha determinado.

Mi esperanza es que las personas tomen el tiempo para comprender y no juzgar porque todo no es siempre como parece ser.

Daughter

Allies: Mark and Meredith Frisch

The Frisch Family proudly join the “We are Straight Allies” campaign in support of their son and brother, Jeffrey, and for the entire LGBT community. In their own words, they describe the importance for why they are ‘coming out’ as allies.

Read their full profile here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-fV

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SOTRU Trans Families Live Listening Session

We Are Straight Allies and WJCT partnered with State of the Re:UNION to present a very special opportunity to listen to SOTRU’s most recent episode – “Trans Families” – hosted at MOCA Jacksonville on Wednesday, October 15 from 5:30-7:30pm. We’d like to thank our sponsors SunTrust and Human Rights Campaign for making this event possible.

We’d like to extend our deep appreciation to Al Letson for bringing this episode to light, for giving voice to families who support their loved ones, and for sharing the cross-section of beauty and challenges that is the “trans experience”.

To our panelists – Tricia, Brad ley, Cam – thank you for your courage and willingness to share your personal experiences and journey of transition with an audience that is eager to learn how to be allies of the trans* community so that we are empowered with ways to create change in our community and bring equality to all people.

To the allies who tuned in – thank you for questions and contributions to the conversation – let’s all make a commitment to keep the conversation going, to encourage more people to listen to the episode, and to find ways to eradicate the misinformation shared about our trans* loved ones.

….because nothing is more important than our humanity.

SOTRU Live Listening Session

For more photos from the event, CLICK HERE

The Entire Episode: Trans Families

SOTRU Live Listening Session

SoTRU T-Families Event FlyerWe Are Straight Allies is partnering with WJCT, Museum of Contemporary Art and State of the Re: Union (SOTRU), hosted by Al Letson, to present a public listening session of SOTRU’s “Trans Families” episode. The event will incorporate a Google Hangout so that people can text or call in questions for our featured panelists of transgender people from our community who will also be sharing their courageous stories.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
5:30pm – 7:30pm
MOCA | 333 N. Laura St.
This event is FREE and open to the public
RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY!

Ally Profile: Rabbi Joshua Lief

Rabbi Lief_FP_Print_R3Rabbi Joshua B. Lief is the Senior Rabbi of historic Congregation Ahavath Chesed. He grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia where he was active in all sports, music, and was an Eagle Scout. He attended Princeton University, where he swam on the varsity squad, competed on the debate team, and graduated with a degree in History.

After Princeton, Rabbi Lief attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  After living in Jerusalem for the first year of the seminary, he completed his studies at HUC-JIR’s campus in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was ordained as a Rabbi in May of 2003.

Prior to moving to Jacksonville, Rabbi Lief served as the Rabbi of Mizpah Congregation in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he helped grow the congregation and reached out to the larger community. Here in Jacksonville, he serves on the boards of ONEJAX, JCCI, and the Community Hospice. He is an avid athlete, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Downtown Rotary Club, a graduate of the Leadership Jacksonville New Leadership Summit, enjoys and supports the arts, and is honored to engage in civic activities.

Rabbi Lief is married to his beautiful wife Rebecca. They are delighted daily by their adorable daughters, Leah and Ellie, and are proud to make Jacksonville their home.

As a Rabbi, I am relieved that Judaism only demands of me that I make myself the best person that I can possibly be.  I am not required to change anyone else to be more like me.  Indeed, with my faith in a God who is wholly (and holy) beyond my comprehension, and a conviction that all people are made in the Divine image, how could I ask anyone not to be who they are?  Many people are fond of taking Biblical verses out of context and frequently Leviticus 18:22 is cited as an injunction against homosexuality.  From my perspective, the operative verse on the issue of civil rights is actually to be found one chapter later, at Leviticus 19:17, “Reprove your neighbor, but come to no guilt on his account.”  The issue is not the perceived rightness or wrongness of any individual’s private behavior.  Rather, the issue is the absolute wrongness of public discrimination against our fellow human beings for simply being who they are.  It is quite fitting that the very next verse is Leviticus 19:18, “Love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord.”  Would that we could all reach that level of holiness.  Let’s keep trying.

To contact Rabbi Lief, please email him at rabbi@thetemplejacksonville.org.