Rec­og­niz­ing that Equal­ity Mat­ters

Hun­dreds at­tend din­ner event in Port aux Basques

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - EDITORIAL - BY ROSALYN ROY

De­spite strong winds that kept the ferry tied up since Fri­day evening and pro­duced white­out driv­ing con­di­tions, guests re­mained un­de­terred and the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day Bread and Roses Din­ner for 2017 went as

This

year’s theme was

why the Gate­way Sta­tus of Women’s Coun­cil con­tin­ues to push for equal­ity for all, not just women.

Ac­cord­ing to mem­bers of the coun­cil, some progress has been made in the past year — things like es­tab­lish­ment of safe ac­cess zones around health clin­ics.

Work also con­tin­ues to­ward grant­ing free le­gal ad­vice for sex­ual as­sault com­plainants.

How­ever, the high­light of event din­ner was guest speaker Robyn Nose­wor­thy, who talked about her own per­sonal strug­gles for equal­ity and ac­cep­tance.

There were emo­tional mo­ments dur­ing her speech.

In tears at one point, Nose­wor­thy told a grip­ping story about grow­ing up gay in Gan­der and how that af­fected not only her re­la­tion­ships with close fam­ily mem­bers, school­mates, and teach­ers, but how she felt os­tra­sized and fear­ful, a strug­gle for ac­cep­tance and equal­ity that con­tin­ues for LGBT youth.

Nose­wor­thy says Port aux Basques has made her feel wel­comed.

She started by pay­ing com­pli­ments not only to the beauty of Port-aux-Basques and the friendly wel­come of its cit­i­zens, but to its vis­i­ble mes­sage of ac­cep­tance and move­ment Over 200 din­ner guests braved bad weather to at­tend the an­nual Bread & Roses din­ner at the Lions Club in Port aux Basques cel­e­brat­ing In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day.

to­wards equal­ity for all. Nose­wor­thy’s fears about mov­ing from a city to a smaller com­mu­nity were al­layed dur­ing her first visit when she spot­ted the rain­bow cross­walk in front of St. James High School.

“I knew in that mo­ment that I was go­ing to be okay,” said Nose­wor­thy. “I knew that this town was ready for me, and I knew that fi­nally I was ready for you.”

Her heart­felt story drew a stand­ing ova­tion from the evening’s 230 din­ner guests, and con­cluded on a hope­ful note with a sim­ple, earnest mes­sage.

“Just make love ac­ces­si­ble and you’ll see what it’s like to live with­out bounds.”

Guest speaker Robyn Nose­wor­thy at the Bread & Roses an­nual din­ner on March 5.

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