As promised, here are the photos and updates from when VIDC went out to STRUT our stuff down Sunset Beach last June 6 in support of Foundation of Hope’s (FOH) fundraising efforts for LGBTQ+ Refugees. It was a surreal experience to be part of this momentous event! The energy and the support from everyone who came out was simply overwhelming; although we don’t all fully understand the struggles of being an LGBTQ+ refugee, we all understood the importance of STRUT for them.
We got a good taste of the pain and the struggle of walking (even standing!) in heels! We got a full dose of what STRUT was all about — enduring a bit of pain to get an extremely minuscule glimpse of what LGBTQ+ refugees have to suffer.
That mile was the
L O N G E S T M I L E
our team has ever walked, especially since it was a first (walking in heels for THAT long) for a lot of us. The blisters and muscle pain we’re still feeling is a constant reminder of the privilege we have in a world that’s just all kinds of unfair.
VIDC is no stranger to working with marginalized, oppressed, and at-risk individuals, and still STRUT was quite surreal for us. It’s one thing to work closely with someone, it’s another to physically get a (very very small) taste of what they’re going through.
VIDC would very much like to thank Foundation of Hope for organizing this event and for giving us the privilege to be a part of it. We partnered with FOH and attended the event to engage the community and provide financial support to the cause; and yet it seems as though we got so much more than what we gave.
Don’t get the wrong idea though! It was a very meaningful event, but it was also FUN!
Check these photos out for proof!
We definitely got more than what we gave, thank you to everyone that came out and supported STRUT!
As part of the event, they had a Health Screening room set up with screening stations for blood pressure, glucose level, tuberculosis (TB), and liver health. We came in with our FibroScan® machine and was greeted by very friendly First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) staff with a full two-day list (and quite a huge waiting list) of people interested in getting their liver tested — there was no time to waste!
There was no lull time as we screened people one after the other. Everyone was very excited to find out about the machine (and about their liver health too, I’m sure). As part of our team, we had our HCV Nurse Shawn Sharma, RN BSN administer the screening and Dr. Alexandra King MD, FRCPC consulting with the patients about the results.
Overall, it was such a great experience being part of the forum. The energy from everyone working together to improve the health and wellness of the First Nation communities was simply surreal!