In a couple of weeks it will be Gay Pride Day in Toronto. Vita Community Living Services will be marching with our LGBT group in the parade. The parade is a celebration but we felt that we wanted to be there with a message. We want everyone to feel pride, no matter the difference, no matter the diversity, no matter the disability. We wanted to continue the work of creating a safe community for all. We decided that we wanted to ask a community which fights for pride, acceptance and respect to join in our fight for respectful language.
Our Words Hit cards have gone wild. Manuela and I were in New York City and were given the cards by a self advocate group. I was in Butler and had forgotten to bring some cards, Natalie got them for me from her truck. The cards are everywhere. So, building on that success we've printed thousands of the following cards:
It is our goal to hand out all of them at the parade. I wanted to put them up here on the blog should others want to reproduce them to use in Pride events all over the world. It's a day to celebrate pride and the best way to do that is to honour and respect diversity. We're here. We're weird. Get used to it.
I am so proud to be marching in the parade alongside those with both physical and intellectual disabilities. Alongside care providers and allies. Alongside all who wish for a world that welcomes!
The cards do not mention 'Gay Pride Day'. This is because we are hopeful that this card can be used anytime you hear people using words that hurt others, specifically words targetted at those from the LGBT community along with those aimed at people with intellectual disabilities. We believe it is time that we all start building bridges between minority communities. We all have much to share, including an incredible amount of power. First we need to learn to respect each other, honour each other's difference and then, once done, join hands in the fight for respect and justice.
Here's to a world where gay kids get call names like 'Jason' and 'Jasmine' and disabled kids get called names like 'Shawn' and 'Sharrisa'. Here's to the world I didn't live in but dreamed I one day would.
I love this card.
I'm not gay. That's not the issue. But I tell you this, when I graduate from school, Vita can expect my resume. If you have the courage to value difference, then you have the capacity to create radical care. Care that goes past supporting the body, care that embraces the spirit. I got up early this morning for a glass of water, checked my email, then saw this on Dave's blog. Goodbye sleep. Vita, see you in two years.
Wow! I hope your Pride Day is wildly fun and successful. I'd be really interested in hearing how the cards are received by others at the festivities.
I've attend Pride in Toronto, though not recently. I know I would have been THRILLED to see a group like yours marching and celebrating.
Great cards. Important message.
Interestingly in Australia, where I grew up, f....t was a very, very offensive term for a gay person. Now I'm in the UK where that word is commonly used to describe a type of meatball made from offal and off-cuts.
I still find it unpleasant and unsettling to see little f....t labels nestling between the sausage rolls and salami in the deli counter at Tescos.
I love this card and I love this post!
Is Gay Pride in Toronto only for homosexual men? While I don't like/use the word faggot to describe the man loving men in my life, as a woman loving woman....there are a couple of words used hatefully to describe me that likely hurt just as much when said hatefully by an angry "straight" person.
Hi Dave, I thought this would very inspirational and thought you may enjoy. I hope this link works!
This makes me so happy!
This is great! In my ongoing experimentation of how to convince people that yes, the r-word really is hurtfu, I've had some success using a variation on: "you say it's PC crap perpetrated by liberal do-gooders, but when the gays asked us to stop using "faggot," we stopped, and when the blacks asked us to stop using "nigger," we stopped. And now we know that people with intellectual disabilities are, THEMSELVES, asking us to stop using "retard." So I'm stopping - will you?
Hey! Is there any way to get these cards in the UK?? Scotland to be precise, lol. Fantastic idea, with the words ringing only too true in too many situations!!! Brilliant idea, and so smart that they can be used for any form of hate. :D
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