Happy Holidays, Huffington Post Gay Voices. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. I feel blessed with the opportunity The Huffington Post has given me to introduce you to Equality TV, an Internet destination debuting in early 2013, that I co-created with the vision of making Equality go viral.
Two years ago, I started a passionate, endless inner dialogue about how tired and bored I was getting of traditional media and watching the same kinds of shows on TV. I asked myself, 'How many crime or ER dramas do we need? Why do all the actors look the same? And most importantly, why are there not enough gay people, black people, ethnic, disabled, and seniors on TV? Where are the alternative lifestyles and minorities being portrayed, and why are they unrepresented in the media? After all, we all struggle to be accepted, yearn for love, wade through challenges, disappointments and relationships, and find the courage to experience joy, happiness and prosperity. Don't we all want to live in a world where we are considered equal?' After meditating on these questions, and thoroughly examining the content across multiple forms of media, I became confident that there was a way to strategically address this lack of minority representation in mainstream media by introducing a global Internet network that would help people embrace alternatives and learn how to accept others despite their differences. Thus, the idea of EqualityTV was born.
EqualityTV is an online multimedia website platform that will be a destination for any minority group and cause that feels marginalized by mainstream media, including the LGBTQ community, specific and mixed race communities, the deaf and disabled community, gender specific initiatives (women's rights, gender equality), seniors and elder care, animal rights, children's rights, and environmental issues. In addition, EqualityTV will help others share their voice by having a special channel dedicated to philanthropic partners who share the vision of global equality by providing a platform from which they can catapult their vision and dreams.
I know about inequality.
Having been born to a black father and a white mother as a 4-pound preemie whose ear drums did not develop properly, I suffered hearing loss. I grew up being bullied, with the 'N' word and sticks and stones being thrown at me. A mixed child who was poor and didn't fit in, I often felt alone and unheard. Quite literally, I was silent, as I kept to myself using books and classic films as a means of escape and acceptance. My best friends were Audrey Hepburn, Sidney Poitier and Greta Garbo.
I was sexually assaulted at 16 and I came to loathe myself as a woman. I didn't feel comfortable in my skin with men undressing me with their eyes and making advances. In my 20's, I was offered a management position and I struggled to be respected as a leader. I was not only paid less than my counterparts, but I also endured sexual harassment and was undermined by the male-dominated management team.
At age 30, I came out. Yes, I had acknowledged my attraction toward women at 18, but my mother convinced me it was just a phase, and having just moved to San Francisco to live with my gay aunts, I figured it to be true. So back in the closet I went. But at 30, I was ready to take on the world as queer, and come hell or high water, I was going to live my life authentically.
After living as a gay woman for the past three years, I better understand what it means to be treated unequally. I had been discriminated all my life for being black, for being a woman, for being economically challenged, and now -- for being gay. And being gay didn't mean I was automatically accepted into the gay community. For some, I wasn't gay enough, with my long hair and high heels.
Through EqualityTV, I am finding my own voice, and it is my greatest quest to help every community who feels marginalized find their voice. This has been a remarkable challenge to make EqualityTV happen, but I am honored to be the conduit of such a vision. My partner and I have made personal sacrifices to bring EQTV to fruition in 2013, but we cannot do this alone.
In this season of caring, giving, family and festivity, consider joining EqualityTV's mission to make equality go viral. Please watch our video to find out how you can become a founding member of the Equality TV family.