News
5 min

What do you wish for in 2008?

More unity, more activism, affordable housing and a new vagina

TJ Ngan photo

Afuwa Granger

For 2008, I want more.

I want more safe, affordable and appropriate housing, not just for seniors and people with disabilities but for people who used to be able to afford housing and are now basically the working poor.

And I want more spaces like Rhizome that are inclusive of the whole spectrum of gender, of age, because that’s an important one in the queer community.

And especially now, I want more recordings of our elders’ voices, of all the voices, of all the little parts of our community, not just the dominant majority, but of every single one. It’s that recorded history that we can put out there so that children who are growing up queer don’t have to grow up alone — so many of us do that.

I’m not just talking about the Canadian thing. [What about] growing up in another part of the world [where] there’s just so many more barriers to cross? And if any of those children, teenagers could access on the internet somewhere, some sort of record of somebody who is like them, whose story resonates with them, then they at least have hope. Even if they are in the wrong location.

Marino Baris

My wish is for gay men to get closer to each other. Not just temporarily, sexually, but more connected spiritually.

Michael V Smith

I wish for the queer community to have a better understanding of who its people are and also who its allies are so that we — rather than just look at our most immediate needs — see the other people who are part of the same struggle: the women’s community, people of colour, and people who have class issues and ability issues so that we band together and look out for each other. That’s what I wish. That’s what I honestly wish.

Devon MacFarlane

There are two areas for me. One is just about the queer and trans communities. We’ve got a lot of strengths in those communities, and I would love to see us celebrating those strengths and valuing one another and ourselves more.

There’s lots we can learn from one another, and building on what we already have going is something I really would love to see.

There’s resources in places that bring together people really well already, like Out on Screen, in terms of seeing a hugely diverse part of our community and having programming that reflects that.

I’d like to see things like that bring together a broader cross section of our community in more ways and spaces — across age, across culture, ethnicity, LGBT.

There’s also stuff we can build on around access for trans people to safe and equitable access to health and social services, to human rights protections. That I would like to see come to fruition in the next year.

I’d also like to see trans people and our allies in the queer and straight communities get together, both in terms of activism and celebration.

Spencer Herbert

I guess the first one is support and protection for high school students provincewide. A new gay and lesbian centre. I think an MLA that actually deals with the skyrocketing rents and the housing crisis in the West End and citywide. A government that deals with the thousands of leaky condos in our community, and a clear commitment from the provincial government to keep St Paul’s hospital open. And then peace and happiness for the whole world. Might as well go big.

Jim Deva

Number one, a new LGBT community centre in the heart of Davie Village. Two, that the federal, provincial and civic governments get together and once and for all create a plan to end the housing crisis in Canada. And number three, a wake-up call to all voters when they realize that lower taxes means fewer services to the most needy in our society.

Kaylee Willier

I would like to see the youth get more involved.

Jeff Gibson

I wish to see for the queer community a larger profile of queer art, and I mean not only visual arts but performing arts for the queer community and for the community at large, either through the Pride in Art festival or some other cultural event. What’s prompted me, first of all, is the community last year didn’t get a chance to see what Pride in Art has to offer. We had 25 artists selected for the exhibition with a great range of work, from 2D to 3D sculpture, photography, paintings. We had a huge array of performing artists coming in and performing over five nights, and we didn’t get a chance to do that. We are continuing with the exhibition for 2008 and we’re also going to be expanding it, and we are working very hard to create a larger profile in the community. Hopefully that wish for 2008 will materialize.

Janine Fuller

Stability in housing. For people to be more politically active because this is an election year and we can really make some changes. And to keep reading Jane Rule!

Bimbi

I wish in 2008 that I’m doing well with what I do, making enough money so I can bring all my family to Canada so they can visit me here. They have never visited me here in 16 years.

I wish in 2008 people are more accepting of who we are, not judging by the cover. You never know, karma might get them when they make fun of us.

And have enough money to get my new vagina.

Fatima Jaffer

when I think of 2008 I think of, unfortunately, the challenges. I think of what we’re facing under Stephen Harper. I think that we have an opportunity to really step up to the plate in terms of being responsible for making sure that we don’t have another Conservative government.

I think 2007 was a chance for reflection about what we stand to lose and how quickly that could happen and is happening.

I think 2008 is a time of hope because we have a chance to reverse that. We have a chance to challenge the conservative agenda.

I think we have a whole host of challenges that come about because of the Olympics happening in 2010. It’s a time for us to look around to see who else is in this community with us; who’s going to benefit from the Olympics, who’s going to lose. And do we care? If we do, it’s a wonderful opportunity in 2008 for us to come together to make alliances.

I think issues of race, class, the different ways that we live with our sexuality will be twice as important. We’re going to be an international destination and I think that we have a very important message and image that we can impart to the world, and I think 2008 is a time where we really stand to bring that together.

I think for me more than anything, it will be a time to get my courage back, to really have the strength to stand up to what’s happening, to stop thinking I can’t do it anymore, to shake off the cynicism, and actually bring hope back.

I also think 2008 will be a time for me to sleep a lot because the construction of my place will be done.

Jean Michel Taniguy

I wish gay people would stop putting highlights in their hair. That’s so 1980s. Many gay people here need to go to a decent city to pick up on a trend. Gay people are supposed to show the rest of the world how to be fashionable.

Andy Cook

I would like there to be a cure for AIDS.

Saúl Orozco

I’d like to see less division between the different types of gay people. I wish we could all get along better. I’m Mexican and I think that gay people of different nationalities should get together more often.

Ken Brown

I hope we won’t have to be identified as a separate community. We’re all one! I’d like to see less infighting within the gay and lesbian community.

David McDonald

Abundance and Happiness.

Chris Morrissey

I think there’s two things that I wish for the queer community. One of them is that the various communities within our community find ways to work together for the benefit of all of us — those of us in Vancouver and those in other parts of the world who don’t have the same kinds of freedoms and opportunities that we have here.

I know that oftentimes here in Vancouver, there’s divisions and differences and bad-mouthing and all that kind of stuff. I know we’re going to disagree and that’s fine, but we could disagree respectfully.

And then the second thing is much more pragmatic: a new community centre.