“The fight for LGBTQ rights” always sounds grand, and—as grand, sweeping phrases often do—its bravura obscures the grittier, more complex reality. The core of any civil rights movement is brave individuals first realizing, then questioning whatever prejudice has been visited upon them, then rousing themselves to do something about it. Those are very personal and piercing decisions to take.

Then those people may reach out for help, advice, and support; they may ally themselves with others. A case is formed. How far such a case goes depends on luck and a lot of hard, often thankless work by activists, lawyers, and campaigners from organizations like the ACLU, Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, HRC, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and GLAAD. Support may come from smaller organizations, and local chapters of organizations; from volunteers working and canvassing.

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