Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Born Perfect, a Project by Mr. GNI Leather and NCLR

By Ralph B., Mr. GNI Leather 2016

It's been a wild and exciting few months since The Gathering. It's been a thrill to represent GNI as Mr.GNI Leather 2016. I was presented on the main stage at the Folsom Street Fair, co-hosted the LeatherWerks/GNI Naked party in Fort Lauderdale, attended Palm Springs Leather Pride, and the Mr. Long Beach Leather, Mr. Precinct Leather, Mr. Regiment Leather, Mr/Ms Sanctuary Leather Competitions. 2017 promises to be even more full and exciting before I compete as Mr. GNI Leather at International Mister Leather in Chicago in May.

I'm very proud to be representing GNI and continuing to spread the word about our organization. 

This platform has also given me the opportunity to advance my work as a mental health professional and LGBT advocate. As a Board member of the California Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, I was a part of the team that contributed to crafting the legislation to outlaw conversion therapy in the state of California. We were the first state to do so. 

Few practices hurt LGBT youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.

Some mental health providers continue to subject young LGBT people to these practices—also known as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts”—even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has created the #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy in all 50 states in the next 5 years. NCLR has been working to protect LGBT youth from these practices for more than 20 years, securing legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012, New Jersey in 2013, Washington, D.C. in 2014, Oregon and Illinois in 2015, and Vermont in 2016. I believe that every LGBT child is born perfect and that any young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender should be honored, celebrated, and supported. 

Please support my efforts by clicking on the link below to donate and let every child know what we know, that they are #BornPerfect.