Happy 2018, everyone! We hope your holidays were filled with good friends, good food – and great sleep.
We spent a lot of our break contemplating the rollercoaster that was 2017. LGBTQ communities worldwide faced a number of setbacks: anti-gay purges in Europe, violent bigotry in the U.S., and continued challenges for LGBTQ refugees, to name a few. But we also saw unprecedented successes in advancing human rights and equality: Elections in the U.S. introduced our first openly transgender state legislator, the first all-LGBT city council, and many more diverse voices across the country. Even in countries where prejudice and violence are daily risks for the LGBT citizens, communities have rallied around their vulnerable neighbors – especially shunned and homeless youth. And more LGBTQ stories came to pop culture page and screen, taking home the first Best Picture Oscar for an LGBT film.
This last one might seem trivial, but don’t be fooled. The growth and popular acceptance of LGBT storytelling is an important marker of social change. Worldwide, members of the community are feeling safer to speak out. The more they share their experience, the more LGBTQ people are understood – and the more understanding among society, the more tolerance and acceptance can follow.
On the business side, 2017 was also a mixed bag for Responsible Linen. We had an inspiring idea. We found a way to make it real. We started down that path. But we also ran into delays in design, production, and even just registering for business. All of this means we haven’t yet been able to make a serious contribution to the causes we intend to help.
We’re channeling the hope inspired by the successes of last year, though, and are confident that 2018 will bring great things for all. We hope that this year accelerates progress for people around the world, and wish great things for each and every one of you.