49 Lives Lost....I will wheel one mile in memory of each person lost!
June 13, 2016
Like so many across the country, I've sat here in the comfort of my own home horrified as news of Orlando's mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub unfolded. As someone who has long been involved in violence prevention activities and who once offered a Tenderness Tour in Orlando, I'm horrified at the thought of 49 innocent lives being lost and even more lives severely impacted by the actions of one man. I don't live in Orlando, so giving blood wasn't a reasonable option. I could give to Orlando-based organizations, but I felt like I wanted to do something more tangible for the LGBT community in my own hometown of Indianapolis. It seems like whenever I don't know what to do, a Tenderness Tour becomes the answer.
On Saturday, June 25th at 8am, I will begin a one-day, 49-mile wheelchair tour in memory of the 49 Orlando victims whose lives have been lost. Simultaneously, I am putting together this Crowdrise page to raise funds for Indiana Youth Group, a stellar organization that "creates safe spaces, provides wellness programming, and educates LGBTQ youth and the community."
I refuse to do nothing. As someone who has dedicated my life to ending violence in the lives of children and youth, the thought of Indiana's LGBTQ youth not feeling safe, not feeling loved, and not feeling absolute ability to be exactly who they are horrifies me. This is what I can do - I can use my voice as an ally to support IYG's work to support LGBTQ youth and to create a communicate that rejects hateful rhetoric and hate-based actions.
I hope you'll support this tour, one of many I've done since 1989 raising funds for a variety of organizations. 100% of your donations will go directly to IYG.
For more information on the Tenderness Tour's history, visit http://tendernesstour.com
Details of the day: I will leave at 8am from the Monon Trail at 62nd Street in Broad Ripple. I will wheel up to 86th Street and return. Generally speaking, 12 blocks is considered a mile. Therefore, each trip will be 2 miles. I will go up and back 13 times or as many times as needed to ensure that every life is remembered.