Blog Archives

Breaking the Silence – 2013

This year marks the 16th annual Breaking the Silence conference at the University of Saskatchewan, and I am (again) proud to be a member of the board working very hard to bring it to you.  This year we are focusing on the idea of finding justice and equality on and off the playing field.

As we all know, the locker room has long been a place of dread for our youth, and that doesn’t always end with high school graduation.  Join us on March 22nd and 23rd and we attempt to throw open the doors, and let a little light, and some fresh air into those dark spaces.  Our topic this year?  Clearing it Out! Removing Homophobia from the Locker Room and Beyond.

You can learn a little more at our facebook event page or at our website!  Hope to see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/453413428064685/?

http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/

Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

 

…and yes, for those of you who specifically wrote on your evaluations that you’d have liked to have heard a little more from me during last years conference, this year I’ll be offering two sessions.  I do have to admit, I loved the one comment that was written in that simply stated that next year they’d like to see “More Tobi”.  😉

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We love our community school!

We missed the meet your teacher night this year because the girl had her very first ballet class that evening – but we already know Ms. Wolfmueller anyway.  We are there every day after all, I’m a classroom volunteer, so hang out with the kids and Amanda on Thursdays.  So when we showed up for school on Wednesday, we were given a lovely little gift bag all the families received the night before.

The effort that was put into these gift bags just further demonstrates why we love our school.  Such thoughtful gifts for us to share, and completely unexpected and appreciated:

A hand stamped gift bag, a recipe for apple muffins, an apple with a poem tied onto it, a notepad, and a magnet with the school’s contact information.

We really do love the girl’s school.  We started kid-kid there because we loved their pre-k program, Rhonda and Tracy are amazing, and the kids all adore them.  But we continued there because of the real sense of community and belonging found throughout the school.

There are kids from all sorts of families, it’s a wonderfully diverse student body. Diversity is both celebrated and embraced in such a lovely way.  The school participates in the Day of Pink, and I plan to encourage participation in Wear Purple day this year too.  The administration team is fabulous, and well…  we really do love Mayfair Community School.

Parents are teachers too.

 

Roo Watch 2012:  Roo has been cool, calm and collected.  No signs of early labour.  She’s due on the 29th… so far so good.  🙂

Breaking the silence, one more year has past.

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Breaking the Silence. Wow. It was truly an outstanding year, the fifteenth anniversary of this barrier shattering conference. To be honest, I am far too exhausted and overwhelmed to share much just now. However I promise to post videos, photos, and stories in the days to come. For now? I wish you all joy and acceptance through all your journeys. This grrrl needs some down time.

Leave the politics at the door.

Pride Week is one of my favourite weeks of the year.  In Saskatoon the organizers and volunteers put on event after event, and they just keep getting bigger and better.  So many hours, so many dedicated people, all working together with a common vision.

We make a point of getting out to at least a few Pride events every year.  We always have an amazing time, and love being surrounded by such incredible people – all devoted to diversity.  This years PRIDE week was no exception.  We had a lovely time at the family day in the park, at the second annual Welcome to the Gaybourhood block party, and today marching in the parade and then celebrating with everyone at the community stage.

This year, a couple different politicians were invited to speak before the stage was opened up for the incredible musical line up.  And honestly?  There is a reason folks hate politicians.  This event is not about politics, and it’s not about scoring brownie points that can be redeemed at election time.  I was so disappointed with the MLA who was invited to represent our provincial government…  actually, I was beyond disappointed.

The NDP MLA made a point of recognizing the very few NDP representatives who were present (including mentioning one MLA who had ALREADY LEFT despite the fact that the event had only just begun).  He encouraged people to vote NDP.  And then went on to blast the current Sask Party government.  Personally, I found this appalling.  It was not the time OR the place for this kind of political maneuvering.

There are times when politics should be left at home, or checked at the door, and this was one of those times.  Yes!  Come as an elected official who represents the current government and who is proud to see how large the PRIDE movement has become.  But don’t treat it as a chance to earn votes.  Be there in the spirit of the day.  Celebrate with us!  But don’t pretend to be a part of a movement you choose to ignore the other 364 days a year just to earn a vote.  It insults our intelligence.  We see your party’s record, we can read all about your stance, see what you’ve done to promote equality, and we know that you aren’t there the rest of the year…  And judging by the rumblings in the crowd I’m not the only one who found him offensive.

The Green Party did not have a float in the parade, we weren’t attending with an agenda like the Liberal and NDP representatives.  But we were there.  Because we are always there.  Because PRIDE is something that is deeply important to us…  and that has NOTHING to do with earning votes or ensuring we are noticed as representatives of a political party.

Pride is about believing in yourself, being true to who you are, and being PROUD.  It is about the discrimination we have overcome and still face by being open, by sharing the truth.  It is about fighting for a world where PRIDE is NORMAL.  Where gender has nothing to do with a persons sex.  Where love is love regardless if it’s shared between women, between men, or between a man and a woman.  It’s about truth.

How many of those politicians there today have truly been there?  How many know what it means?  How many have seen the dark side of humanity where

… … Sorry.  This is difficult.  Sometimes I get emotional. … …

I have had friends, bloodied and in the hospital, beaten for being who they are.  How many of those politicians have been there?  How many have experienced that side of PRIDE?  Pride is about coming back from that, and knowing it’s worth it to keep fighting.  Pride is about the idea that my daughter will grow up not knowing that ugliness.  Pride is about how far we’ve come.

So I’m glad the politicians came…  but sometimes?  It would be nice to see them leave the politics at home.

Want to know what PRIDE is really about?

two preschoolers holding hands, very cute together.

Gabriella & Lily-Ann

It’s about Gabriella and Lily-Ann…  two little girls who met only two minutes previously, holding hands.  Two little girls who will never know a world where diversity isn’t totally, completely, natural and normal.

Happy Pride Day!

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