Monday, June 13, 2016

#PulseShooting #YYC4Orlando June 12, 2016

#PulseShooting #YYC4Orlando June 12, 2016
We woke up with the worst news, there was a mass shooting at a LGBTTQ2S+ bar in Florida called the Pulse. At first they were estimating 20 dead but the number was 50, truly horrifying, with 53 wounded. It was so hard to process, with so many of my family and friends just scrolling in my head. Violence at this level being triggering with the past bullying, gay bashings, discriminatory moments resurfacing with this horror. I lost it reading a mother's post yearning to just hold her twenty something son who wasn't in Florida but the connection of a mother and son so deep, that pain for other parents surfacing.

Vigils starting popping up with one in Calgary (Click Here)

Let's start with a 19 second video of #‎Empowerment‬ ‪#‎YYC4Orlando‬ ‪#‎Treaty7‬ ‪#‎solidarity‬ #community (click here)

Thank you to Jackie Dowdell, Nolan Hill, and Visa DeKline for creating a safe space for ALL to come to grieve, and heal. They outright addressed Treaty 7 land and all the signatories. When hit with some racism on Facebook, Nolan replied immediately. "The recognition of aboriginal land claims is an important part of many recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

While this event is in memory of the victims in Orlando, the problems of homophobia, transphobia, and violence against the LGBTQ community are intertwined with many issues of racism, classism, and colonialism.

We will be recognizing the land of this vigil because it is the right thing to do, and doesn't detract from the meaning of this event. In fact, it adds to the impact of this event by showing that we recognize that the LGBTQ community is not homogenous.

We do not support hateful, or abusive comments or behaviour at this event. We ask that all participants take part in a peaceful and inclusive way, showing respect for diversity and difference."
At the actual rally, a speaker named Arun Smith spoke passionately about colonialism, MMIW - missing and murdered Indigenous women, racism, internationalism and more creating a safer safe for Indigenous like myself to feel welcomed at.

The Calgary Herald covered it with video, write up and a gallery of pics:

The CBC did too:

This is on the heels of a safe space for LGBT2S+ event planned for Tuesday through the non-profit, 12 Community Safety Initiative where I work as an Aboriginal liaison, working on Aboriginal Awareness Month events.
We are honoured to have Calgary Sexual Health Centre speak about creating boundaries and we are honoured to have Indigenous speakers: Evans Yellow Old Woman (from the Alex,) Adrian Wolfleg from the Elders Wisdom Circle, and Men's Action Network-Calgary, and Jesse McMann, former lead on a youth Two-Spirit group.

Pride this year will have a deeper meaning. Mahsi cho.

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