We get knotted up in labels and still, through lack of sensitivity or ignorance, frequently get it wrong.
Many years ago, the word ‘QUEER’ meant ‘peculiar’. It didn’t differentiate anyone’s sexuality or gender. It didn’t separate judgements or single issues. Simply it is an umbrella term to offer any individual who has perceptions of themselves other than heterosexual.
Now it is more acceptable to refer to someone as queer and still respect their individuality.
The Queer Rocks Walk today in Downtown Brantford was in honour of ‘Jane’s Walk’. Jane’s Walk started in the states and is a movement of free, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs. It encourages people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbours.
The organizers decided to make up a couple of hundred painted rocks with phrases of support and positivity and tour the downtown to leave these messages throughout the core. Bridge Brant, one of the organizations behind the walk has a mission, “To identify and address inequities experienced by the diverse sexual and gender identified communities and to promote acceptance and inclusion in an effort to eliminate stigma, bullying and discrimination.” Tara Buchanan, one of the group leaders said, the inspiration of her group is to address the lack of ‘safe dedicated spaces, bars, counselling facilities and inclusion for the LGBTG2S+’ in Brant. They work through peer support groups, city Social Services, individuals and training agencies creating a real sense of community.
This is 2019 and no one should be hiding or fearing judgement of their own determination to accept gender as they wish.