Me and Ari Shapiro at UMKC

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Me and Ari Shapiro at UMKC

The Next LGBTQ Generation

Ari Shapiro gave the 6th annual UMKC Pride Address. The NPR White House correspondent and award winning journalist spoke about how the “LGBTQ community has the power to influence social, political and economic issues in the community, legislature, business and civic organizations and in our institutions of higher education.” UMKC Diversity

Mr. Shapiro talked about the positive influence of LGBTQ in media and government for young people and how gay rights was becoming a non issue for them. The young voters are overwhelmingly in favor of rights for all people and as we move forward, this will be less of a battle. Republicans got to see this first hand in the 2012 election. The young vote and the LGBTQ vote swung heavily in favor of Obama. How does this affect the right? “The GOP will need to reorient,” Mr. Shapiro said, in order to garner support from these groups. We are seeing this even the past week with a leading Senator and Hillary Clinton coming out in favor of same-sex marriage.

He also had a couple funny stories to share. My favorite was about one of his good friends in Washington, D.C., also a gay man and former speechwriter for President Obama. Part of the job of the speechwriters is to know something of the ins and outs of the White House. During a tour of one of the innermost parts of the White House, (think counter terrorism type strategy room), one of the men working behind a computer recognized the man from a gay bar they both frequented and exclaimed, in a high pitch voice, “oohh my gawwd, what are you doing here?!” , whereupon the speechwriter turned to those in his group and whispered loudly “we’re EVERYWHERE”.

I used to get so excited driving to a concert to see a favorite long haired band. Now I’m thrilled to get to see one of my favorite journalists speak on a topic very close to my heart. Mr. Shapiro stayed for questions and pictures. He is beautiful, witty, intelligent and an invaluable gift to the LGBTQ community. But, sorry guys, he’s been married now for five years.

 

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