In Houston, everybody who’s in any approach politically energetic is aware of Ashton P. Woods.
Not a glad-handing, slick political operative, Woods is an activist within the true sense of the phrase. He’s been at it since simply 15, and to listen to him inform it, there’s an excessive amount of work to do, and too many wants unmet to think about slowing down.
“During COVID especially, there are people who need help. Immigrants, gay people, poor people, anyone who has a human rights struggle — we have to do what’s right,” he stated. “People have been suffering. People are quarantined with their abusers right now. People have mental health struggles. We have to work out how to improve those lives.”
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Woods leads Black Lives Matter Houston. He has known as the town residence, since shifting away from New Orleans in 2005. Woods says he’s merely following the Golden Rule.
“I was tired of people not speaking up for me. The principal and the teachers not caring that I was 14 and 15 going through bullying that was anti-Black and anti-gay.”
A co-chair of the Black Humanist Alliance, Wood is an open atheist and was really granted an honorary doctorate from a seminary in 2018. “That reverend thanked me and said that even though I don’t subscribe to their ideas of faith and belief, the work I do was in line with their beliefs and I was doing the work even if not the prayer.”
Woods says he places religion within the work of human palms. Philosophies, religions and politics don’t imply something if the proof doesn’t present enchancment for individuals.
“We are not any safer now than when Trump was president! The least among us need to be heard and this can be done without forsaking others. Folks need to be fed, housed, clothed no matter who they are.”
Woods’ activism and organizing return to when he was a excessive schooler creating the primary gay-straight alliance in New Orleans in 1999. His capability to work with individuals totally different from himself is lengthy established.
While he’s not prepared to let the closed minds of some others deter his work, he’s open to providing them training. He says, “People that suppose the ‘gay thing’ someway detracts from working for all Black persons are filled with it! When you erase LGBT Black individuals, that’s internalized anti-Blackness. Because if you put a 14 12 months previous boy out ‘cause he’s homosexual, he’s nonetheless a Black boy.
“And if you have never been called a ‘fa***t’ and a ‘ni***r’ in the same sentence,” he says, :you possibly can’t say something! Because LGBT individuals have been out right here doing the work for us all.”