I am Lisbeth Melendez Rivera and I am the project Harmony Manager
at Family Equality Council. As such I work within our organization
and with the community to represent and give voice to LGBT Families
Why is family equality important to
When I travel across the country recording the stories, triumphs
and concerns of LGBT families of color, I get affirmation as to the
importance of family equality. Regardless of family composition, we
all need families and we make our own in so many different ways.
One type of family should never be more important than another and
ALL should be recognized in order to protect ALL members of the
What is the biggest challenge in your
Having said that, my biggest challenge is reaching out to families
who have been ostracized by many communities and are reluctant to
participate given all they have been through. It is my challenge
and duty to ensure these voices are lifted and heard in the debate
for family equality.
What words of wisdom do you have for other LGBT
The day we become parents is the day the world changes forever. One
thing I have learned from my children is that they are wise beyond
our understanding and will forever be our babies. Trying to
reconcile that is my struggle and triumph everyday.
Who is your professional hero?
Professionally I have many heroes; I truly cannot identify just
one. I admire folks like Rea Carey, Executive Director of The Task
Force, and mother of a 7 year old who still manages to speak for a
progressive LGBT movement. Folks like my co-workers, the next
generation of great leaders, I learn from the everyday. Finally my
partner Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz who has made a career carved in
principles and a vision for a better world.