To the editor and readers of Camp:
How we as a community choose to communicate and collaborate inspires, frustrates, and concerns me. Although we continue to celebrate that same-sex couples in every one of the United States may speak two of the most of the most powerful and jubilant words in our language – “I do” – so much more remains unspoken. Further issues affecting our everyday lives – workplace equality, embrace of our transgender sisters and brothers, acceptance over tolerance, body image, religious freedom – still whisper for our attention.
Oddly, one of the most valuable resources for developing our ability to enrich our community –your community – remains largely underused. Hear Me Out Toastmasters formed in 2005 to empower the LGBT community of Kansas City with the tools to improve their personal and professional verbal communication and leadership skills. Of more than 14,000 Toastmasters groups across the world that provide a workshop environment for adults to develop their presentation, facilitation, critical thinking, and team-building skills, fewer than 20 focus on the LGBT community. That this opportunity has gone largely unnoticed, ignored, or avoided for over 10 years baffles me. Reality-TV-stars-as-role-models level of bewilderment.
Hear Me Out Toastmasters can help you become more confident in the message you share as individuals and as contributors driving the pulse of the heartland. Become the speaker and leader you want to be. Activate your activist.
Hear Me Out Toastmasters meets at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, formerly known as the LIKEME Lighthouse, 3911 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. http://hearmeout.toastmastersclubs.org
Vice president, Hear Me Out Toastmasters