a message from our Executive Director
If you're not familiar with this acronym then you've probably been living in a cave without facebook/twitter/CNN/queers.
Because March was dominated by news that the reprehensible Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), wa
s being challenged on its constitutionality by the formidable Edie Windsor
. Signed into effect by Bill Clinton on my birthday, (September 21, 1996 - coincidence?), this antiquated American law is an attack on basic human rights.
And 83 year old Edie was not prepared to take it.
The law violates equal protection, as it denies married same-sex couples all the 1,100 federal marriage benefits that their straight counterparts enjoy. This meant that after 40 years together, Edie had to pay enormous state taxes on her wife's property that crippled a senior on a fixed income.
This is simply wrong.
Luckily this is not a Canadian reality. Yet as Canadians, we are impacted every time we cross the border and our legal relationships suddenly aren't recognized.
This is a fight we're all in together, and I have been deeply inspired by the courage of Edie Windsor and her supporters who are leading the way.
The time is now.
FREE Tax Clinic
Get YOUR taxes done for free!
This volunteer led, CRA supported program offers you a chance to have your taxes prepared by a trained professional volunteer. Some restrictions apply so call our Resource Reception today at:
By appointment only and clients must meet CRA approved criteria to use this service. Call us to find out all the info!
QMUNITY Proudly embarks on Aging Out
Aging Out is a public education and policy development project that strives to increase inclusion and belonging amongst members of our LGTB seniors community.
Segments of the project include focus groups, training workshops and policy dialogues, which in turn will design and deliver community driven policy.
The first step of this project is to conduct a series of focus groups with LGTB seniors, aged 55 and over to take place on two of the following three dates: April 25, May 2, May 9 2013, with exact date and location to be determined.
Groups will consider not just needs and issues of our community, but also their strategies of resistance and resilience.
Please contact Meera Dhebar, Aging Out Project Coordinator, 604-440-0847, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
International Day Against Homophobia Breakfast
The annual International Day Against Homophobia (IDAH) breakfast brings up to 500 passionate citizens together for a morning of engaging speakers and powerful community conversations.
In 2012 this event was held at the Fairmont Vancouver, and attracted a diverse crowd who ended the morning with a standing ovation. This event has grown steadily every year and now holds a place of prominence on Vancouver's queer community calendar.
In 2013 we are looking at homophobia and transphobia in sport - be sure to check out our AMAZING speaker line-up including Ben Rutledge, gold medal winning member of the Men's 8+ Rowing team in Beijing!
Don't miss out - early bird tickets end on April 17!
QMUNITY Education + Outreach
Syphilis On the Rise in BC
BC is experiencing an increase in syphilis infections,
with queer men and other men who have sex with men particularly affected. Syphilis can often be asymptomatic,
or have symptoms that look like other conditions, and therefore infections can go undiagnosed. Untreated it can have serious health effects.
The good news is that, diagnosed early, syphilis can be
easily treated. Even better news is that QMUNITY is
home to the Bute St. Clinic, free, queer- and trans*-friendly,drop-in clinic with no fee, no ID required, and free
treatment of STI's! To learn more about syphilis,
and about testing at the Bute St. clinic or another location
Volunteer of the Month
QMUNITY recognizes Don for generousity, kindness, and professionalism as our Tax Clinic volunteer.
Since 2007, Don has spearheaded our annual Tax Clinic and uses his expertise to help low income folk navigate their income tax returns. In doing so he has brought in much-needed donations and exposure for QMUNITY, and has received 6 awards from CRA for his outstanding work in this field.
After submitting his first tax return by himself at the age of 16, Don decided that he wanted to help others with this process. Shortly after, Don went on to work for a large national bank where he became the bank's youngest ever supervisor at 21 years old and has since held several high-level positions.
In addition to Don's accounting gifts, he is well known as a compassionate listener who takes the time to get to know his clients and the personal issues they face. As a result his clients feel that they are well cared for, and now over 60% of the Tax Clinic clients are multi-year repeat clients.
Over the years, Don has grown to call many of these clients friends, and many of them are now QMUNITY donors! Outside of QMUNITY, Don is well known for his love of cooking, baseball, and travel. Don has been everywhere from the Czech Republic to Venezuela, and we are so lucky that Don chooses to make Vancouver (and QMUNITY) his home.
Thank you, Don. You continually demonstrate to all of us that there is always time to help one more person, and your compassion, spirit, and talent make QMUNITY a better place.
QMUNITY GAB Youth:
Exciting month of workshops coming up!
On Wednesday April 17, QMUNITYGab Youth will host a workshop during the drop-in for queer youth (14-25) and their allies. The Writing Histories Together project was developed as a means of connecting different cultural communities and generations together to recount stories of Metro Vancouver's rich cultural history. The intention of this project is to pair an elder with a young person cross-culturally, to tell stories through creative writing workshops. QMUNITY Gab Youth will be pairing up with Generations to support this exciting project.
On Friday April 19, QMUNITYGab Youth will host a special workshop during the drop-in regarding healthy relationships. Taking Care of Ourselves, Taking Care of Others (TCO2) will be presented by youth facilitators from Children of the Street Society. Using communication tools such as skits, monologues, multimedia and discussion, youth TCO2 facilitators will engage Gab youth in a powerful conversation about healthy relationships, self-worth and how to avoid being taken advantage of, including the role of drugs and alcohol in unsafe sex.
On Friday April 26, QMUNITYGab Youth will host a workshop during the drop-in regarding drugs and alcohol. This workshop will be facilitated by our practicum student Jacqueline. Gab operates using a harm-reduction method, and we feel this is an important topic to be able to discuss as a group. We will use discussion and straight forward information to give youth important knowledge around prevention and treatment.
Please see the Gab calendar for times, location, and more information, or contact the Gab Youth Workers at email@example.com! Hope to see you this month!
When: Wednesday April 3, 2013
Where: Century House, New Westminster, BC
On Wednesday April 3rd the Century House Gay Straight Alliance, in New Westminster, will be hosting a presentation Our City of Colours event. Our City of Colours is a community-based non-profit organization helping to address issues facing LGBTQ people in different linguistic and cultural communities around Metro Vancouver. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.684.8449.
Want to run QMUNITY for a day?
QMUNITY's programs and services make a difference in the lives of queer individuals and communities every day. In support of that daily commitment we ask you to:
Give a Damn? Give a Day!
It costs $504.72 to operate QMUNITY for one day. You can fund a full day as a lump sum or break it up into monthly donations. Either way you make a difference in your community today.
Please click on Donate to Give a Damn and Give a Day today.
QMUNITY is a registered charity and tax receipts are issued for donations over $25.
For all donation inquiries please contact 604.684.5307 or email@example.com
Thank you for your support!