BENEFITING: Human Rights Campaign NYC Marathon Team
On July 20th, 2005 the country that I was born in, Canada, became the 4th country in the world to grant the same rights of marriage that are common place to heterosexual couples. In the preceding years I thought, great, my country has recognized that my relationship is the same as anyone else's and that I can sit back and watch from the sidelines as other countries come to grips with the same issues that Canada had battled before it affirmed our equality. However, I was wrong to sit back and do nothing even today there are hate crimes in this country such as the young man who will no longer walk in New Glasgow Nova Scotia.
A year ago this May I saw a video posted on YouTube that changed my life. It was posted by a young man Shane Bitney Crone who was honouring the one year anniversary of his partners, Tom Bridegroom’s death by speaking publicly about their relationship and the need for equality. #EqualloveEqualrights was born. All I can say is that I sat there for a long time after that video with tears streaming down my face. No one and I mean no one should have had to go through what Shane did when losing a partner. This one video garnered over 4 million hits and has become a full length documentary thanks to the 6,508 people who donated to its making; which I can count myself as one.
I was extremely fortunate to get to see this amazing documentary in the theatres at the Portland Gay and Lesbian film festival. Through this opportunity I got to see and hear of the love that these two people shared; and for those who think that is not possible for two men to love each other that deeply I dare you to watch this film and say different. At this screening I was honoured to get to meet Shane in person and to express my gratitude and appreciation that he is sharing something so personal to do something so positive. It is not often that you are given the opportunity to meet someone you consider to be a hero and now a friend. That weekend I came to the conclusion that I must continue to be a part of the fight for equality regardless of what country it is. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and let things just happen without adding my voice and spirit to the fight until all are equal.
I have a birthday coming up and I decided for my birthday I want to do a fundraiser in the memory of Thomas Lee Bridegroom and to honour the love that Shane and Tom shared. In doing so I have decided to support Human Rights Collation, an organization that has become important to Shane in the past year. Please take a moment to donate whatever you can to support the work that the Human Rights Collation is doing and will continue to do in supporting the GLBT community.
We all have a voice, let us put them all together in solidarity and support for Shane and our GLBT brothers and sisters and make a most beautiful chorus. Thank you for your support.