Category Archives: camp fyrefly
One of the most difficult things in the world is coming out to our families. There is so much emotion wrapped up there, that it can be hard to separate our own fears from reality. And listening to the coming out stories from previous generations only reinforces that sense of fear.
I had the privilege of serving as coordinator for a youth retreat last Summer, for Sexual Minority, Gender Variant youth. During an exercise led by our Artist-in-Residence, Spencer J. Harrison we all got the chance to share coming out stories while in small groups. One young man’s story in particular made me cry – and not for reasons you might suspect.
At first he didn’t feel he should contribute to the discussion, he didn’t feel that his story was worthy of sharing. Upon encouragement, he opened up and told his story. The story of coming out to a family who loved him and supported him – a family to which it didn’t matter what his orientation was. Unwavering love and reassurance. And that is what moved me to tears.
More and more people are realizing that orientation doesn’t matter, a person’s sexual desires don’t change who they are as a person. More and more families find it easy to accept the idea that one of their children may be pansexual, bisexual, asexual, homosexual et al. More and more young people have GOOD stories to share – and those stories are so worth hearing. And in those instances where the outcome isn’t so positive? That’s where community comes in.
If your family doesn’t accept you for who you are, they don’t deserve you. Family is a choice, and is built on love. So whether family of blood or family of choice – surround yourself with people who know how amazing you are. Because you really are incredible!
I have come to the conclusion that there are basically two types of people. There are those who, given a small bit of power, take it and in turn give power to others trusting that we are all deserving of respect and given the opportunity will prove just that. Then, there are those who, given a small bit of power, keep it to themselves assuming that people will do the worst and cannot possibly handle any responsibility looking upon the rest of us with a wary heart and distrust.
It has been my experience that people expect from one another, basically whatever they themselves are. So a person who is a gossip, assumes people are always talking about them and naturally distrusts what others say. And a person who believes in giving, assumes that others are basically good and will do the same if given the chance. We see in others, our own reflection.
These two things, coupled together, can lead a good person who believes in sharing power to get bit from time to time by people of the other sort. And, this could potentially lead to a good person becoming bitter, and losing that hope, losing that faith in humanity they once held dear. I can only hope that I won’t be bitten that many times.
I’ve been bit, a great number of times… but still, I have to believe that given the opportunity that people will choose to do good, and that ALL people are deserving of respect – regardless of age or station. It’s just who I am. So please forgive me as I pout, and cry a little off in the corner. I’ve recently been bitten, and it hurts like hell. However, with a little care and a little nurturing I’m sure this wound (like most others) will heal. It will likely leave a scar, but I’ll move forward still believing in people.
Lexi is a pretty amazing person. She’s a young woman with a true heart for children, and believes deeply in doing what she can to help aid those in need. I met Lexi this year at Camp fYrefly.
Before seeing her for the first time, Lexi and I had many conversations. Seriously, we talked on the phone pretty much every other day for the last couple of weeks leading up to camp. So when I saw her standing in the lobby a big grin spread across my face. I felt like I already knew her, and was so thrilled to meet her in the flesh.
During that amazing weekend, Lexi and I had many chances to talk, and I always enjoyed hearing her point of view. Like many of us, she hasn’t had an easy time – yet instead of focusing on herself, she chooses to invest her energies ensuring others have a better time of it. So, when Lexi told me of her plan to help former child-soldiers I really wasn’t all that surprised.
Lexi is hoping to raise $1000 in the next two months. If she succeeds, she has pledged her head… well… her hair anyway. So let’s help Lexi face Winter in Saskatchewan with a freshly shaved dome. Whether you can contribute $5 or $100, it will all go to a great cause!
Lexi, what first drew your attention to the need for a rehab center for former child-soldiers?
What first drew me to the need for a rehab center is that children that are coming out of the LRA need someone there to help bring them back to be the child that they were before they were taken and forced – brainwashed in a sense – to kill many and steal away more children. Every child needs to have a good life without fear.
What made you decide this was important enough for you to take action?
I always wanted wanted to help but never really knew about it too much. Now I know that me, even fundraising, will help children out in Uganda. I am wanting to raise 1000 dollars to help contribute to the building of a rehab center.
In addition to making donations towards YOUR campaign, what can others do if they too want to get involved?
Anyone who would want to help shoud go to invisible childrens website, and go to their build a fundraising page. Start doing small things like bake sales, car washes etc.
If you would like to contribute to Lexi’s fundraising campaign, or if you are simply interested in learning more about the former child-soldiers and the hopes for this rehab center, head on over to http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise/ic?fcid=135944. To learn more about Invisible Children (the non-profit Lexi is fundraising for) visit their website and learn about their projects at http://www.invisiblechildren.com/protectionplan.
Lexi, I am super proud of you, and am rooting for you (get it… rooting… as in the roots of your hair? okay, bad hair joke. and yes, that was another one… get it? bad hair? okay, I’ll stop now). Very honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of you. This is a truly fabulous thing you are doing, and I am behind you 100%. I know it’s not much, I wish I could do more, but I am thrilled to be the first donation on your way to your fundraising goal. Good luck!