Straight Sister of the LGBT Movement
NBJC's Sharon Lettman-Hicks discusses work, motivation and a lesson from Transgender Day of Remembrance
by John Riley | Published on November 23, 2011 | Metro Weekly
At first glance, Sharon Lettman-Hicks doesn't seem like your typical LGBT activist. For starters, she's a straight woman. She's married to a military husband. She proudly says she was raised with ''strong Christian values.'' But LGBT people, especially those of color, would have a hard time finding a more passionate advocate who demands nothing less than their full equality and freedom to express their identity.
Just don't call her an ally.
Currently serving as the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering black LGBT people by fighting racism and homophobia, Lettman-Hicks describes her involvement as a fierce advocate for LGBT equality as part of a ''natural migration'' resulting from her own experiences facing discrimination from within the African-American community.
Growing up as the dark-skinned child of Hispanic immigrants, Lettman-Hicks says she often faced discrimination from both the Latino and African-American communities, who were unsure of how to deal with her. A personal battle with obesity during adolescence also made her a target for discrimination. Read the rest of the story at Metro Weekly >