I’ve been quiet here on the blog because I have been extremely saddened by the massacre in Orlando. I have new things I want to write about – my first extended ride on my road bike since my accident last year, trying out canoeing and stand up paddleboarding – but I’m not feeling up to it yet.
I’m overwhelmed by the layers of hatred and injustice surrounding this tragedy. The failure to address intersectionality – that the victims were primarily Latinx and LGBTQIA. The media shifting the narrative into Islamaphobia. The racism. How we aren’t talking about how toxic masculinity leads to violence. Wondering how survivors will access the care and support they need. The desperate need for gun control.
So what can I do?
First, listen, and check in with loved ones who are hurting. Remind them that I am here, and that I care. Understand that people need different things.
Love. I can love. Fight as hard as I can against the hopelessness. Believe in the good, in the power of love, in the potential for change.
And then, speak up. Demonstrate support. Engage. Discuss. Learn. My friends, particularly my friend Meaghan, have guided me in invaluable ways. Honour the emotional labour of those who educate you.
Finally, I decided to do some volunteer work. I’m getting involved in Pride events in my community. I’ll be volunteering at one of the performance spaces, and I have asked to volunteer at the Pride and Remembrance Run.
[On the subject of Pride, I thought this article about straight ally interaction and involvement with Pride events was very important.]
Many cities have Pride run/walk events to benefit community LGBTQIA groups. It is an easy way for runners to show support visibly through showing up, and financially through race registrations and donation fundraising.
The 2016 Pride and Remembrance Run beneficiaries are:
ACT ’s Positive Youth Outreach Program (PYO )
ACT’s Positive Youth Outreach Program supports young people between the ages 16–29 who are living with or at increased risk for HIV. PYO supports participants in obtaining a happier, healthier life where they are engaged and active in their communities.
The 519’s “Not Alone…” Program
The 519’s “Not Alone – A Collective Response to Sexual Violence Within LGBTQ Communities” program will build trauma-informed services through a series of targeted support interventions for LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence.
Rainbow Railroad’s ongoing efforts provide financial assistance, information and other resources to enable at risk LGBT individuals to travel to safer countries where they can seek asylum. Proceeds from the year’s Run will directly help five asylum seekers find freedom from persecution.
Pride and Remembrance Foundation
The Pride and Remembrance Foundation is the charitable foundation responsible for the distribution of funds raised by the annual Pride and Remembrance Run. The Foundation’s mandate is to provide financial support to registered charities that benefit the LGBT community. The Foundation accepts applications for financial assistance from registered charities throughout the year.
Sending love and strength to you all.