Policymakers should take seriously the need to make all LGBT stories visible through data

One of the great lessons of the LGBT equality movement in the United States has been the power of the story, whether told by a single person or through data about LGBT lives. As more and more LGBT people feel safe coming out to their families, friends, and communities, the country has had the opportunity to learn about who LGBT people are, the challenges they face, and what they need to live healthy and secure lives.

When the country has been listening, we have seen advancements in equality, including the recognition that one’s sexual orientation or gender identity have nothing to do with one’s ability to serve in our military, work for a federal contractor, or marry the person they love. Yet still today, myths and stereotypes persist, holding us back from achieving full equality. Too many still deny the dignity of transgender people, question the intentions of LGBT immigrants seeking safe harbor, and perceive an insurmountable divide between LGBT communities and communities of faith.

This article was originally published in The Hill .