It's been a long year, people. It seems like there is a new gaybashing every month here in Vancouver. Now, reported queer suicides are on the rise as well. In light of all this, it's understandable that some people are feeling down, but honestly, I thought the days of hearing other gays tell me that by "being visible and speaking out as a community, we make gays look weak or like victims" were over. Really? REALLY?
For the record, I believe that you make yourself a victim by being invisible and not speaking out for what's right. Which is why I'm happy to see that Vancouver activist Ryan Clayton has planned a candlelight vigil tomorrow night for the recent string of suicides of youth who feel they have no hope and have no voice.
I hope to see you all there.
Here's an excerpt from the event's Facebook page:
In the past month we have all seen a series of tragic and devastating suicides from youth as a result of homophobic bullying. The response to this has been a need to do something about this crisis.
A viral campaign was started to wear purple on October 20th in memory of those who've lives have been lost. (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164078170271651) Thousands of people will put on purple to show they stand in solidarity against homophobia. Purple is the colour of the rainbow which represents "spirit." This ties into projects like the "It Get's Better Project" started by columnist Dan Savage (http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject) and the "Make it Better Project" started by youth. (http://makeitbetterproject.org/)
Now is the time to come together as a community and be there for each other. On October 20th at the community garden at Davie and Burrard Vancouverites will gather and light candles for those who have been lost to homophobic bullying. Organizations such as Qmunity, Out in Schools, Vancouver Pride Society and Jer's Vision will speak about what is being done to help youth and Vancouverites will have an opportunity to get involved with these amazing organizations and do something to help the lives of youth everywhere.
Wear purple and come create a "sea of purple" in support for ending homophobia and transphobia. Bring candles to light in memory.
A moment of silence will be held for all victims of bullying who have been lost. Following this will be a brief performance that will aim to inspire.
Come down for an hour out of your hump day evening to light a candle, spend some time with others who want to end homophobic and transphobic violence and get involved with projects that can make a difference.