"This is about people. And it's about families." Outgoing AG Eric Holder on LGBT equality and cultural acceptance

In an interview published by The Advocate the day after Loretta Lynch was confirmed to become the next Attorney General of the United States, the man who currently holds the position, Eric Holder, explained his own journey to become an LGBT ally, as well as the acceptance gap for LGBT people and African Americans.

Speaking with reporter Edward Wyckoff Williams, Holder spoke of the LGBT people who have had an impact on his life, from his uncle Sonny to the many LGBT families who work with him at the Justice Department. He stated that these people were the ones who inspired him to become an LGBT ally.

Of course, I had family members and friends who are gay. Everybody would answer yes to that question if they answered the question truthfully. I had an uncle, Uncle Sonny, one of the best guys in my life. The first man I ever saw who drove a sports car, an MGB. It was the coolest thing in the world. He was near and dear to me and he was gay. We’ve all had people in our lives — with a positive influence in our lives — who are gay or lesbian

We could continue to talk about this in terms of theory and the law, which is obviously important, but on a personal level this is about people. And it’s about families.

I have a folder of pictures of DOJ employees — members of DOJ Pride, our LGBT organization — and it’s pictures of their families, them having babies, on their way to their weddings, and celebrating their marriages. And in a fundamental way this is what this struggle is all about. It’s about human beings, my fellow employees, my colleagues. It’s about doing things that are consistent with who we say we are as a nation.

Williams asked about the gap between legal protections and cultural acceptance, both for the LGBT community and African-Americans. GLAAD worked with Williams to prepare for the interview, including providing information on Accelerating Acceptance, a report by GLAAD that outlines the gap between legal equality and cultural acceptance in the United States. Holder's response was hopeful, recognizing how much work there was for the whole country to move forward together.

I think we have a moment in time. We have a moment in time where all the tragedies — from Trayvon to Michael Brown to the Garner case in New York, and a case in Cleveland — coupled with where we are dealing with this whole question of same-sex marriage—this is an opportunity. This is a real opportunity for this nation, on a couple of fronts, to make substantial progress. These kinds of chances happen every other, every third, fourth generation.

Williams is also nominated for two GLAAD Media Awards. "Black Parents, Gay Sons and Redefining Masculinity," published by TheRoot.com is nominated for Outstanding Digital Journalism Article. And "Gay and Muslim in America" on America Tonight of Al Jazeera America is nominated for Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine. Both awards will be presented at the New York GLAAD Media Awards on May 9