Final Paper: My volunteering experience

by Amina_C on May 14, 2013 - 10:17pm

Through the semester, I have been working on news summary related to the issue of LGBT in the world. I was shocked to see that so many urbanized countries still legalize homophobic laws such as in Ukraine where the government considered legalizing a law banning the talk of homosexuality in the Media. I therefore began browsing for issue on LGBT in general, and after doing summaries about LGBT in the U.S. with Obama’s recent acceptation of same-sex marriage and France’s legalization of same-sex marriage, I realized that the concept of “Civil Rights,” was what really stood out as an interesting topic to write about. Through that story, I engaged myself into volunteering for LGBT rights because I believe that actually making actions will make a better difference than writing a long term paper. I firstly wanted to focus on the Montreal sphere, but almost none of the NGOs in Montreal were seeking part-time volunteers. Instead, I teamed up with one of my classmate, who worked on the same topic, to volunteer in our school community (Champlain College). Our teacher informed us to work with the LGBT club in Champlain that will open his doors next semester (Fall 2013). However, the club is inexistent since a long time due to its bad reputation and to past homophobic graffiti made on the club’s room. My classmate, Nathalie, and I wanted to revive the club by creating its constitution and motto. I thought that a “LGBT only” club was too exclusive and opening up to every student would be better, so we called the club the “Born this way” or BTW club and our mission will be to promote acceptance of every student, and defending civil rights but by focusing especially on the LGBT rights. This way, even heterosexual students can be part of the club; the requirement for being a member would be to be passionate about gay rights and human rights. This requirement is important for the club because I want to portray the issue I was working on by summarizing the news which focused on LGBT rights and homophobia around the world. A news story that really stood out to me was about the beating of Wilfred De Bruijn and his partner during a night in Paris because “they were holding hands.” (Adamson) A group of young people beat up his face, so De Bruijn decided to post this picture on his facebook page which rapidly became an internet phenomenon and the new face of a campaign against homophobia in France. I thought that idea was really great but mostly more in-face by revealing to the public that homophobia hurts individuals. From this inspiration, I came with a poster that will be used for next semester for the anti-homophobia month (May) which features my classmate Nathalie with her eyes covered with a black box. This represents the blindness people have when speaking about the issue of homophobia, especially in schools where most of the bullying happens. Due to lack of time, we couldn’t display the posters around the school, but we kept in in file for the Born This Way club next semester since it will promote the club’s motto of acceptance by showing awareness of the issue of homophobia. I believe that with the volunteer I did towards founding a club and creating a poster will help fight towards the issue that I have been working on since the beginning of the semester because every student deserve to live in a safe environment free of fearful comments or behaviors made from their fellow student. Creating the club and the flyers will, in my beliefs, bring a long-term change in my community’s view on LGBT rights for the goods.

Adamson, Thomas. “ Wilfred de Bruijn, French Gay Attack Victim, Becomes Cause Celebre.” The Huffington Post. 10 April 2013.
Interfax-Ukraine. “Eu deeply disappointed by anti-gay bill in Ukraine.” KyivPost. October 3, 2012.