On June 24, 2016, after leaving a fundraiser for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, my sibling was attacked and beaten. The Seattle Police and the FBI investigated the incident as a hate crime, however, the attacker was never identified or charged.
Hate crimes against the LGBTQ community are not new.
And in fact, it has long been shown that LGBTQ youth and adults are at a higher risk for assault, discrimination, hate crimes, exploitation, drug/alcohol addiction, and rates of suicide.
This awareness, the attack on my sibling, as well as the current rise of hate and intolerance (or those who now feel at liberty to express hate and intolerance) created urgency for me this year. Though Oiselle had been visibly supportive of the LGBTQ community in the past, I wanted to be louder and prouder.
At its most fundamental level, this team and the sport of running is a safe place. And yes, while it is a women's community, it is also one that embraces the current views on gender identity and fluidity. The LGBTQ community is welcome here.
In fact, while we offer guidelines to the Volée, customers, and community, none are more important than the expectation that all teammates will treat each other with respect, and refrain from hate, bullying, and/or discrimination.
June is Pride Month around the world.
The 2017 theme for Seattle Pride is INDIVISIBLE. Pure and simple: an unbreakable bond of togetherness. I cannot think of a better metaphor for our relationships with each other, and our shared love of the sport. And though the path is not always clear, I truly hope Oiselle can be an ally. That the members on this team, and beyond, can hold each other up, and provide support and protection.
In celebration, we'll be sharing blog posts in the coming weeks from Volée members on the topics of inclusion, intersectionality, and diversity.
At the same time, I'm happy to introduce our Pride Tees. Designed with the iconic clasped hands, and some rainbow love, it is our commitment of indivisibility.
Please note all net proceeds from the Pride Tees will be donated to the ACLU.
And if you're free this Sunday, June 4th, come join me and friends and Volée at the Seattle Pride Run/Walk at Seward Park!
With love, gratitude, and pride,
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