So, I'll be pulling a firetruck up Chruch Street again. This time, on my 4th wedding anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, Julie!!!
Why do I do this? That's easy: the youth. I had the honor and pleasure of being camp nurse again this year at Camp Outright, a week long residential camp for LGBTQ youth and allies. I can't tell you how powerful it is to see kids, just being kids- being able to be who they are without fear of having hateful words thrown at them, or being taunted and belittled for who they are. I can't describe how strong the community they built for each other was. How each gave their all in support of each other.
Camp is always a place where new friendships are formed. But when you're a kid that's been told by classmates, teachers, parents, siblings, the media, even friends, how strange you are, how different, how "queer", making a friend who knows and truly understands your struggles or having an adult tell you that you are amazing just the way you are, may truly be lifesaving. For some of our kids, Camp Outright was the first place this has ever happened.
"I deserve to live."
On the last day of camp, we all gathered around a circle and privately wrote on an index card what we were taking home with us from camp. The above was one of the responses. "I deserve to live." I cannot imagine the struggles anyone could endure to get to a place where "I deserve to live" becomes a revelation instead of an everyday, innate knowledge. But some of our youth do.
It's because of this that I support Outright and all they do to make the world a better place for GLBTQ youth. I ask your help in this. It's easy to "like" a Facebook status, or to "share" a witty picture in support of GLBTQ causes. It takes just a little bit more to put your money where your mouth is. $10 may mean two grande mocha lattes to you & me, but combine that with $10 from a handful of other people and your money makes it possible to send one more GLBTQ youth to a camp where they discover that not only that they deserve to live, but that they are amazing and beautiful and powerful.