Claiming the Notion of Grace

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The last dot429 event I attended was packed full of professional men and women chatting, connecting, and looking incredibly dapper in what passes for “Sunday best” attire in our modern world. It was a beautiful setting, full of wonderful people, having a lovely time.

What stood out for me the most, though, was easy comfort – the organic camaraderie – that permeated the room. These were people lucky enough to be comfortable in their own skins, successful in their professions, and free to find others like themselves. It was a moment of pure grace – graceful people, graced with good fortune, walking in the grace of something larger than themselves.

These three different, but very connected, notions of “grace” are something the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has only recently been able to claim for itself. Only in the last few decades have we had the opportunity to live our lives authentically without risking our safety, our livelihoods, or our families.

To be sure, some in our community still face real risks every day. For those of us lucky enough – graced enough – to be free of those risks, the simple act of coming together as a community allows us to be a part of something truly powerful. We know how very lucky we are to have the freedom to live, love and work without having to hide a piece of ourselves from the world. We hold on to a real sense of our community’s greater good – and we draw strength from contributing to it.

About The Author

Leyla Farah combines media and technology expertise with deep roots in SaaS technologies, cloud computing, data mining, marketing analytics and media strategy. She manages enterprise client accounts for Eloqua, a cloud-based communications platform powered by Oracle. Leyla is the author of the book “Black, Gifted and Gay,” and was one of the original employees of PlanetOut Inc. She has served on the national Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, and as a volunteer with numerous LGBT arts and policy organizations around the country. Leyla holds a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley.

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