Join us at the PRIDE rally March 25/08!

We hope you can join us in the opportunity to protest violence against queer people. Please come and participate at the UVic PRIDE rally March 25 at 1:30 at the Uvic fountain. It will be followed by a workshop and movie. Read the details below from UVic PRIDE!

Friends and colleagues – Please read this message and consider joining us in the rally against violence against queer people that will be held on the campus, organized by people in UVic PRIDE. I can not tell you how much we appreciate the support of allies – queer positive people – in the struggle for acceptance for all people – regardless of their gender expression or sexual orientation.

This year has seen an unheard of number of queerphobic (transphobic, homophobic etc: a fear of people of different gender presentations and sexualities) acts of violence have occurred globally. Every year at the end of November campus groups, trans activists and LGBTTIQ groups world wide gather to remember the dead of the past year. Each year typically 15 to 20 names are read at Trans Day of Remembrance vigils from San Francisco to New York, and Victoria to Rio. Many of the victims are the result of unsolved crimes, bodies found floating in bodies of water, or shot on the street corners. Many of the crimes are obvious in their intention – hatred and fear of people living in a way that doesn’t fall within the “norm”. Many of the dead are former sex workers, a profession which is one of the few options available to some trans people, who have been judged, dismissed and fetishized.

This year since the 20th of November (less than 4 months) the world has seen the same amount of deaths as is usually seen in an entire year. One of the most recent was the death of 15 year old Lawrence King in Oxnard California on February 12th. He was shot in the head by a classmate, Brandon McInerney, 14 in the computer lab of their school. It is believed that he was killed for being openly gay and presenting in a feminine manner.

This has caused action to be stirring in lgbttiq circles and activist networks around the world including the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), and locally UVIC Pride.

We’re having a rally on March 25th at 1:30 at the UVic fountain to draw attention to these deaths, since they get very little media attention. Our demonstration will include speakers, the names of those who were murdered being read out, and a “die-in” (people collapsing/lying down in the crowd) to represent those who were killed this year.

We will also have a collection of stories recorded on squares of fabric which will be hung on a line around the fountain on the day of the rally. Later we will be making these squares into a quilt together at a Queer Quilting Bee.

We need your help! To help with the rally, please come to the Pride office on Thursday at 4:30 to add your ideas, create future quilting squares with your stories of queer oppression you’ve experienced on them, and learn how to participate in the “die-in” at the rally. We need lots of people to “die” to make a statement that will be noticed. We will be inviting members of the media to cover this event, but we will also be issuing a statement that anyone they take photos of must give them consent, so this should be a safe event where you will not be “outed” publicly by accident.

At 2:30 in the Student Union Building, after the rally we will have a workshop on gender analysis and how to intervene with queer violence and how to be an awesome ally.

At 4:00 after the workshop we will screen an awesome queer movie. The title is “She’s A Boy I Knew,” Vancouver filmmaker Gwen Haworth’s newly released film documenting her transition from male to female.

It’s so important that we get the word out about these deaths and the systems that perpetuate them. Hope to see you there!

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