TW: Mentions of anti-LGBT violence, though no details or descriptions.
The Week of Action 2014 kicked off today – and oh boy is this site getting a lot of traffic. I’m never quite sure how to feel about that, but it’s great that so many people are interested in making the world better for LGBT people.
I opened the event by sharing a list of fifty ways people could take action during the Week. My unofficial theme for the event this year, which I am using to determine how I personally take action, is “Those Who Survive,” which stands for not only those who have survived anti-LGBT violence, but everyone who lives in the aftermath. Because I have a tendency to get caught up in the stories of those who died, I am challenging myself to focus on those who survive and what I can do for them (and myself, seeing as I am also a survivor). Today I promoted the Week of Action challenge through networking, wearing an event shirt, and tying a red ribbon to my bag.
I also re-shared my story, which I wrote and posted on the site last year, on social media. It has been password-protected for the past several months because I feel safer when I can control who sees it; however, I don’t want to hide or return to pretending like nothing happened, so I decided to open it up for others to see during the Week. The password to access the story is “violets” (sans quotation marks – this will be changed next week). Whenever I direct people to my story, I’m always a bit blown away by how many people actually look at it. I don’t mind you all reading my story – just keep in mind, there are nine other stories on the site that are just as important! Mark Brady, Karen Poiani, Bill Thomas, Wayne Wilcox, Clayton Ham, Tessa Crawford, Judy Wight, Christine Thomas, and the Rev. Rebecca Strader’s stories can be found under the tab marked “About the Stories Project.”
Today’s theme was red, which symbolizes life. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color red and the theme of life. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?
Fred Martinez Jr.