Where were you when the bombs went off on Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013?
I had just turned left onto Boylston Street. Up ahead I saw the large LED clock and along the street I saw hundreds of smiling faces. I felt as though they were all there cheering for me. This was the grand finale of 4 months of training in the bitter cold. This was my moment and I wasn’t going to let anything prevent me from crossing the yellow and blue Boston Marathon finish line. I was only 650 feet, the length of 2 city blocks, from finishing the race.
Then, it happened. Boom!
I was no longer running. And, I was no longer going to cross the finish line.
Whether you were in the crowds, watching TV or racing down Boylston Street, we all saw grey smoke; the broken barricades, the torn flags of our friends from around the world, and we all witnessed the violence.
On the anniversary of the bombings, I am remembering the compassion we shared on April 15. Compassion for those families who lost their loved ones; Compassion for the victims; and, compassion for each other. We didn’t stand idle. Instead, we came together as a community.
I am also reminded that violence is reality every day for many our LGBT youth (Even in the most progressive parts of Boston) they are victimize for who they love, the color of their skin or where they live.
There fight is a constant.
Just like Roxas, gay youth in the South End, who says: “I got beat up for being gay right in front of my house. But when I walk up the street a few blocks, a gay shop owner won’t even serve me because they think I look like a Puerto Rican thug. I’m just trying to be myself.”
Where is our compassion for youth like Roxas?
I am proud to be running the Boston marathon this year to benefit True Colors OUT Youth Theater, an out of school arts program of The Theater Offensive that works with at-risk LGBTQ youth in the creation of original touring performances based on their experiences of coming out, bullying, family rejection, discrimination, and violence. Every day these young people are tormented, kicked out of their homes, and discriminated against, and True Colors is the safe space where they can come, meet like-minded youth and be themselves. For most youth, this program is a lifeline.
Will you join me and make a donation to help support True Colors and other youth like Roxas? Please visit my fundraising page at www.crowdrise.com/adrianbudhu to make a donation to help support these young people.
A majority of youth served by True Colors are youth of color from low-income families. This program transform the lives of youth who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Many of the young people served by this program are most at-risk of becoming homeless, attempting suicide, skipping school because they feel unsafe, and likely to be threatened or injured with a weapon because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.
My goal is to raise $5,000 to make a substantial impact in the lives of these young people. While no amount is too little, please consider giving at one of these levels:
- $35: provides food for youth during one True Colors rehearsal.
- $100: Pays for one hour of rental space that True Colors uses to practice.
- $250: pays travel cost for True Colors to conduct a workshop in your neighborhood.
- $500: covers the cost for program supplies for one month of True Colors.
- $1,000: the stipend paid to one youth to participate in True Colors.
The Theater Offensive is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Federal tax id: 04-3039900
If you prefer to make a donation by check, please make payable to The Theater Offensive and mail to:
The Theater Offensive
Attention: Adrian Budhu
565 Boylston Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116