CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGE
Intern and Volunteer Projects
A Poem by Maggie
These are my personal experiences. I am one individual and only speak for myself. Everyone’s experiences are different from my own. I am many things that people may find contradictory or opposite. I am allowed to be all of these things and have all of these experiences. I am both/and and I am so much more.
- I love both living on a farm and in the city. I love the cows mooing and fresh laid eggs, I love the crops growing and fresh country air, I love the excitement and rush of people, I love the markets and endless activity
- I love both living at home and I love living abroad. I love the constant support system and engaging with the community that raised me. I love the ability to learn something new everyday and possibility of never ending adventure.
- I am both quiet and social. I love listening to other people’s stories and the comfort that other people bring.
- I am both queer and trans. Sexuality and gender are two different things and both my sexuality and gender exist outside what society dictates as the norm.
- I am both trans and born in the right body. I am trans because I am nonbinary, I am not a woman. I was born in the right body and I love my body. I love how it is hairy and how my bottom half is curvy and my top half isn’t. I don’t plan transitioning medically or legally and I am still trans enough to be trans. Trans people can do these things but they don’t have to. I love being trans in this body of mine I just don’t love how we’re treated and how nonbinary people are erased.
- I am both masculine and feminine. Somedays I am more masculine, somedays I am more feminine, somedays I am both, and somedays I am neither. All days my body and my expression is okay.
- I am both queer and religious. I am a confirmed member of the United Church and I love my relationship with God and God loves me and my queerness. God created me as a queer person. Loving and beautiful.
- I am both protestant and Catholic. My father’s family is Protestant and my mother’s family is Catholic and both are important to me culturally.
- I have always had good grades and struggled with school. There’s so much more to school than just a number on a piece of paper. I struggled with school socially, I struggled with my mental health, attendance, punctuality, organization and much more.
- I am both student and teacher. A mentor and a mentee. A learner and an educator. To some people I teach, from some people I learn, but from most people I do both. Learning is reciprocal.
- I have clinical depression and I am a happy and positive person. I take medication and am going to therapy for my depression. My depression is much more physical than anything. On many days my mind may be numb or foggy and lack motivation and desire but overall I’d consider myself more happy than sad and more positive than negative, because of this it took me a long time to admit to myself the physical symptoms I have are because of depression.
- I am both oppressed and privileged. I am oppressed because of my gender, my sexuality, and my psychiatric disability. I am privileged because I am a white settler, able bodied, thin, have a Canadian citizenship, have a university degree, and much more.
- I am both creative and logical. I love creating art, for me it is therapy. I love all arts from drama to photography to music and poetry and much more. Art has been integral to my life, expression, and healing journey. I am also a very logical thinker, growing up math and science were always my best subjects I just didn’t enjoy them as much as others where you can create endless possibilities.
- I am both Feminist and I think it’s hard to be a man and I love men. In fact it is my feminist politics that make me fight for men’s issues. Since society is so hard on men they are told they aren’t allowed to experience all feelings and emotions, often times this leaves men suffering in silence with mental illness. It hurts me how Black men are often portrayed as being violent and dangerous. How it is shown that men can’t experience sexual assault and domestic violence. How boys are shamed for not being man enough and how society’s ideas of masculinity harms gay men and trans people.
- I am both hairy and feminine & beautiful. My body hair is natural and I don’t want to remove it in order to fit in to what others think beauty means. To me I am beautiful because of my body hair not despite it. I love my eyebrows the way they are. I am allowed to wear summer dresses and have hairy legs and armpits and upper lip hair. I do not have to remove any part of myself to be beautiful and fit anyone’s idea of what feminine means.
- I have both a poor relationship with food and have never wanted to lose weight. My poor relationship with food and eating have nothing to do with my body’s appearance. I just find it so exhausting to cook and eat and easier to skip meals and continue with what I’m doing. I struggle with ensuring I eat three meals a day and many days only eat one. For me it has more to do with disliking the task itself than anything.
- I have both had very few sexual experiences and am extremely sex positive. I can not want to be sexually active myself but still celebrate other people who have multiple sexual partners, many different sexual experiences, those who choose to be virgins until marriage, and sex workers. I believe as long as sex is between consenting adults then it should not be shamed and that it is also okay to not be sexually active. I believe society should destigmatize sex and spread more awareness on sexual assault.
- I am both low income and have had many travel experiences. I am privileged because a lot of these have been heavily sponsored by community organisations, the government, paid employment, and other sponsors. This has allowed me to have many enriching travel experiences inside and outside of the country, it has also allowed me to meet people from across the country and world whose homes I have been welcomed into while traveling. In addition because I am very passionate about traveling I budget my money throughout the year and travel in the cheapest way possible by staying in hostels and eating street food or cooking with friends. I haven’t spent a lot of money on the travel experiences I have had.
- I have both had suicidal ideation many days in my life and never had a plan to die by suicide. I attended a suicide prevention training a few years back and they were teaching if someone has thoughts of suicide to call 911. Just because someone may have constant thoughts of suicide doesn’t mean they actually want to or are going to die by suicide. I think this is important to talk about when having discussions around suicide.
- I am reserved and bold. I have often surprised people because I am very reserved but I still do bold things. I will get up on a stage, I will say what needs to be said, I will speak up and voice my perspective, I will lead a room full of people, I will do anything I want to do in life.
- I am both out of shape and walked 77km this weekend. The longest I have walked for since I came home in March was an hour walk around my block. I haven’t exercised on a regular basis since first year of University. Walking the 77km this weekend has been no easy feat, my muscles were in pain, body was exhausted, and feet were blistered after day one but still I was determined to finish because I wanted to raise money and awareness for the Brant Sexual Assault Centre and show everyone who supported me along the way to surpass my goal of $2500 that I committed to what I signed up for. I plan to continue raising money and awareness about sexual assault for many years to come. I didn’t do this because I am in any means fit enough to do it but rather because I care deeply and am committed to the cause.
- I am both Christian and other religions have strengthened my faith. I view religion as a cultural perspective of spirituality and spirituality as my relationship with God and other beings. I am Christian because of the ceremonies I celebrate, the place of worship I attend, the stories I learn from, and my family. Through my conversations with Muslims of how their teachings inform their social justice work, with Sikhs of how their community service is integral to their religion, through Hindus in how their relationship with their grandparents they learned their stories. By attending ceremony by invitation from Rastafarians, Anishinaabe folks, Hindus, and Muslims I have felt the importance of spirituality and religion grow inside me. By attending important sites of worship for Buddhists, Sikhs, Baha’i, Jains, Hindus, and different Indigenous cultures I have felt my relationship with God strengthen. Through conversations of people of all faiths I have had my own faith restored. I am so grateful for my friendships with my friends from different religions and cultures because they have taught me more about life and myself.
I am both all of this and so much more!