Jobam's picture

Jobam

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Halifax murder victim Raymond Taavel had a ‘lovely, joyous presence’

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/17/halifax-murder-victim-raymond-taavel-had-a-lovely-joyous-presence/

This is why Rainbow Camp is so important - there is much work to do.....

MC jae I am going to call you on this - Wondercafe/United Church do support the Queer community - and this is a good thing.  As per your commment on another thread about gatheirng stats - put this into your ratio.....

Gay youth - gay people - Queer people need safe spaces......

 

 

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SG's picture

SG

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(sigh)

DKS's picture

DKS

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So sad. The police did catch the perp.

seeler's picture

seeler

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My heart broke as I heard the news on The National tonight. I am praying for my friends in the local gay community and active in the congregation I attend.  I can imagine how this news will hit them.

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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It bothers me that every news cast and reference I've heard mentions that Raymond was gay.  But I don't think it has been determined whether this was a hate crime which would make his sexual orientation an issue, or if this was the case of a mentally ill man killing someone.  In which case I would think that the story might read "Raymond Taavel was attack and beaten to death outside a bar".  

 

Is this a gay issue or a mental illness issue?

 

How do people in the GLBT community feel about the constant reference to the fact that the victim was gay.   He was a human being, loved by God and by many people, he was killed.   I am so very sorry that this happened. 

 

 

SG's picture

SG

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seeler,

 

Regardless of whether this was a hate crime or not, Raymond Taavel was a gay activist. He wrote and edited a gay Magazine. That was not the first time he was assaulted and the one in 2010 WAS because he was gay. How do you pay tribute to a man and deny or not say who he was?

 

Whether this meets the legal definition of a hate crime, whether this man with obvious mental health issues uttered a gay slur or not... it does not matter a gay man, the editor of a gay magazine, a gay activist....was killed.

 

How do I feel them mentioning that he was gay? Better than if they had not.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Seeler, I agree.  I tried to make a post earlier but had trouble getting the meaning across.  Sure, include it when mentioning a bit about who he was, as a tribute.  The headline shouldn't be 'gay man killed' rather, 'person killed'.  If it was determined to be a hate crime, than I could see using the former headline.

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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Bless him and his ability to stand up for that man, which not everyone is willing to do

SG's picture

SG

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If I Google Raymond's name, I get "gay activist" I do not get "gay man"... I do not know what people may have heard on the radio, or TV or read in newspapers locally or nationally.

 

For me, "gay activist" is no different than "minister" or "author" or "banker" or "investor".

 

It is what he devoted his life to, it was his career/vocation.

 

 

 

 

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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Thank you SG for explaining things so well.  I appreciate hearing from someone who has walked the walk.

 

I was trying to put myself in his place, or in the place of his friends or someone who is gay hearing the news over and over. 

 

Suppose it was a construction worker killed on the job.  Would it be necessary to say over and over again 'Female construction worker killed when a forklift operator went beserk and drove his machine directly into a crew of workers while shouting "God doesn't want this office tower to be built."   To me it would only be appropriate if he aimed his forklift at the lone female employee and drove over her shouting "Women shouldn't be doing men's jobs."  

 

You've presented a different point of view.  Obviously he's sexuality was a strong part of his identity and something to be celebrated.

 

Please be patient with me.  I am still very much on the outside.   I hope that you, and others, see my goodwill despite my blunders.

 

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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SG - I made my post before your most recent one came on the screen.  Yes, gay activist is different from gay man.    It defines not his sexual preference but also his passion for justice for a much discriminated against group of people.  Could a straight person be a gay activist?

 

 

ninjafaery's picture

ninjafaery

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I was absolutely crushed by this sad event -- for the brutal end of a young and beautiful life, and the deplorable state of supports for those with severe mental illness.

 

The violence could have been a result of the stress of the individual being unable to cope with being in the community unattended. It would have been like setting him up.

Double tragedy.

SG's picture

SG

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seeler,

 

No blunders. For all of us, learning is just that learning... it means questions or wondering and voicing opinions....and your goodwill shines through.

 


Remember though that I only represent myself and my opinion is just my own. The LGBTQ community is as diverse as any other. There is no single Christian mindset, female or male mindset, balck or white mindset.... Some in the LGBTQ community may wonder why they have to say he is gay and others not.

 

Just as some women might be offended if they kept saying "feminist activist killed" instead of "woman" or just mentioning her gender.... and some women may say that is what she devoted her life to.

 

Some are "out" but that is a small part of who they are. Some it is a larger part because it is their livelihood, passion, activism, calling.....

 

For myself, I lbelieve Raymond wore his colours with pride.
I like being called a trans person or gay... part of the LGBTQ community.  It is who I am. It is also, in part, because of the silence and times I have lived in....

 

Yes, any ally can be a gay rights activist. Now, a gay activist usually means an activist who is themselves gay.  wink

-----------------------

Ninjafaery,
May this tragedy evoke change. May those with mental health issues get the care they need.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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SG, my response wasn't so much to the article, but rather this thread.

 

Was this death a reason that gay people need safe spaces?  I would argue that all people need safe spaces.  If he was killed because he was gay, or an activist for gay people, then the OP makes sense to me.  We don't know that though.

 

I would hate to see GLBT people contributing to their discrimination, similar to what you see with other minority groups, especially African Americans in the US.  Yes, there is discrimination, and it needs to be dealt with but anytime something bad happens to someone who is GLBTorQ it doesn't neccessarily happen because they are QLBTorQ.  If that's always the point that is made, I think it can lead to further marginlization.

 

It was similar with women and education years ago.  A while ago, a woman could say she wasn't accepted into university because of her sex and it would be true.  Now, if a woman said that, I doubt it would be true, and I think that statemant alone would set us backwards.

Hopefully that makes sense!

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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Violence should be a hate crime

SG's picture

SG

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chemgal,

 

I cannot speak for Jobam. The two, safe spaces and this death, tie together for Jobam.

 

I would say, with or without the motive of the deadly attack being Raymond's homosexuality, Raymond wrote in Wayves about being attacked on the way home from this same bar while he was inside a pizza place a block from home (in his own 'hood) The person asked, "are you gay?" and when Raymond answered yes, they struck him.

 

That is scary, when you know getting a slice of pizza while being gay can bring harm to you. Kids need to not only have safe spaces but they need to learn how to be safer in spaces that may not be safe.

 

Could I also tie them together? Yes.

 

The problem is that when you are black and someone yells an N word before they lay a beating on you, we cannot know if it was solely because of colour or not or colour was a part or the insult just worked....After that word is spewed and someone is dead, it does not matter if they intended to kill because the person was black except in the courts. It is going to rile the black community. They are going to ask, when it stops....

 

 If someone calls me a dyke and kills me, it does not matter whether they killed me because I was gay or just tossed a gay insult before killing me... the marginalization, the place in society, the use of these words by those who are angry and looking for a hateful word... can and should be spoken.

 

The last words a dying man heard may have been insults about his sexuality....hate crime or not.... motivation or not... it is enough....

 

Jobam's picture

Jobam

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This is going to be rough - I don't have time to edit - and trust me, my posts need edits.  I got home last night to the phone ringing - it was the local news paper wanting to know if I new him - Raymond was from Sault Ste. Marie.  At this point I didn't know anything, but I told the caller that I would try and find folks who knew him.  I put out some feelers and went on the internet and read the story - actually several of them...

Raymond was gay - he was a gay activist.  From what has been reported on CBC and CTV - the person that killed him had been in the gay bar where Raymond was, and was asked to leave for whatever reason.  Sometime after Raymond came out and thats when the incident occured.  One person that was interviewed stated that the person attacking Raymond was making all sorts of slanderous remarks re being gay etc.

I actually read my post again and was anry with the tone that I set .....but even some of the responses here it is clear that folks just don't get it.  Many of you forget or are unware that in many countries you can be killed for being gay - for me travelling outside this country with my partner is a risk - even just going through the U.S. boarder can be and issue....

The title is accurate - gay man - it does make a difference.  Most of you don't seem to get the fact that we can be hurt at anytime just becuase of who we sleep with - because we are queer.  You seem to have a bubble - and/or sheltered live....  I don't know what world you folks live in - Christ was out in the streets, he knew what was going on - perhpas some of "us" are in the church to much and not the real world. 

Here are some quotes from my posting on facebook...

The man murdered Ray. should be put away, for the murderers natural life. Us people in the LBGT community have rights too,not to beaten to death.this hurts us inside.

 

I didn't know him but this really makes me feel sad and angry. It only take one mad man to hurt those of us who are marked for destruction by societies prejudices.

 

I cried when I saw the news cast an hour ago. The shrine that formed was very beautiful.May the heaven will be adorned with bright rainbow pride flags! ♥ ♥

 

I went to school with Raymond Taavel, He was a wonderful genuine caring person, complete with a sense of humour and a beautiful smile. He was kind and he is missed. It has been many years since I saw or heard anything about him. I am not surprised that he became an activist, as he was always very passionate about the people and things he cared about ! Rest In Eternal Peace ~ You will be remembered ♥

 

I didn't get to go, but there was a vigil last night for him. Hundreds of people came..

.

Folks, I am frustated that I don't have the skills to educate you and/or explain to you that there is fear in the LGBT communtiy.  In reference to the camp - you have to remember that we are creating a safe space....where the kids arent' judged, aren't afraid of being themselves, to talk openly etc...as soon as they see/hear the hate thats out there - and being repeated by some in the Queer communtiy do you really have to ask why "we" need safe spaces.  You must remember that just coming out to someones parents can be dangerous - in many different ways..from rejection - physcial abuse etc....

I don't know where you folks are sometimes - we didn't make up bullying - it does happen - from kids to adults - in the workplace, here in undertones of some posts etc...

Are we sensative - I would say yes - I want to be treated like everyone else - I still can't go down the street hand in hand with my partner due to comments etc... safe space you ask.....I can walk hand in hand on church street in Toronto -

I challenge you to look at yourselfs - your relationships - everything you take for granted we have been denied.  We have come a long ways in 10 years (in this country) but some of the population hasn't. 

If you have a specific question please feel free to ask - you have lots of folks to draw upon here -

Do me a favour - have some fun - go to a United Church with a friend of yours (of the same sex) and just hold hands as you come in.....watch how folks react. Go to a mall and do the same thing - make it look real - arm around eachother - like any ohter straight couple in the mall - watch the reaction.....

One more example, then I have to go - Welcome Friends Board (straight and queer) go to mall to advertise conferences etc.  The straight folks are now very much aware of watching folks look at the table with our stuff on it - some do everything they can to look elsewhere, so pretend we aren't there...some go back and forth for 10 or 20 minutes before they come over and talk to us.....they had no idea of the different reactions people have ...and why should they - they've never been gay.

 

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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everyone's death should have meaning and bring people together, showing people to be mindful, present, intentional, lovingagape, sharing in the common human experience

 

it looks like this young man's death is doing that

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Jobam,

I think I at least partially get it if not completely.  In this case it does sound like it was because he was gay.  I get that there is a higher likelyhood of being hurt or killed because one is gay, and things need to be changed to fix that.

 

I just think at some point it is important to stop saying that X happened because they belonged to Y group, when it is not certain that it was because they were Y.  Especially as it becomes less and less likely the belonging to Y group was the reason.  I think that doing so keeps Y group marginalized even longer.

 

My intention isn't at all to minimize discussing or realizing the discrimination that LGBTQ face.

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

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Jobam wrote:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/17/halifax-murder-victim-raymond-taavel-had-a-lovely-joyous-presence/

This is why Rainbow Camp is so important - there is much work to do.....

MC jae I am going to call you on this - Wondercafe/United Church do support the Queer community - and this is a good thing....

 

Jobam,

 

Why single me out here?

 

A fellow human being, Mr. Raymond Taavel, has been killed. And that is sad. I pray that God will comfort his friends and family as they grieve their loss.

 

Rich blessings.

Jobam's picture

Jobam

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MC jae - frustration - in one thread you, I and others spent a lot of time trying to validate stats while the point was lost.   - remember - to me, it was irrelevant while you debated the possible bias of the poll and how the data was collected –while missing the point…..the real issue is life - this kind of thing will continue to happen - I agree, that regardless of this person's sexuality/gender -it should have never happen -but it does, and while several posts were debating that perhaps the stats were misleading etc., at the end of the day this thing does happen. Kids are committing suicide - do you blame them....there chances of making it through with their own guilt etc and then having to worry about gay bashers..... I am not saying that's what this was ....regardless, one less life, and one has to live with what they have done.

It seemed we took to much time debating the stats rather than what was/is really happening in the world...

 

59% LGBTQ high school students reported they were verbally harassed, compared to 7% of non-LGBTQ students.

  • 25% of LGBTQ students indicated being physically harassed due to their sexual orientation, compared to 8% of non-LGBTQ students.
  • 31% of LGBTQ students reported personal harassment on the internet or via text messaging, compared to 8% of non-LGBTQ students.
  • 73% of LGBTQ students reported they felt unsafe at school, compared to 20% who did not.
  • 51% of LGBTQ students reported they did not feel accepted at school, compared to 19% of non-LGBTQ students

 

Jobam's picture

Jobam

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SG - thank you for your post - and the one in Parenting under Rainbow Camp.

 

 

Motheroffive's picture

Motheroffive

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Jobam, I have close family members who are gay and this hits home in a hard, hard way. It also hits in a hard way when I read that the person who killed this man was mentally ill and the supports he needed were not given to him. This makes me sad and sick. 

 

What makes me even sadder is that we are moving further and further away from compassion which rachets up violence on all levels. 

somegalfromcan's picture

somegalfromcan

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I've been reading this thread with interest. I am sorry to hear of Mr Taavel's death. Regardless of the motive behind the killing, the world has lost a beautiful man. I was reminded a little of the beautiful and tragic story of Harvey Milk - a public figure who was killed because he was homosexual.

 

Jobam - I hear the frustration in your post. I think it would be impossible for me, a straight woman, to truly understand what it is like to be a member of the GLBTQ community. I consider myself to be an ally. I have several friends who are members of that community. We've had lots of conversations about what life is like for them - and the differences between living where we do (Victoria) and living as gay people in the towns where they grew up (mostly small towns). I am a member of an United Church which is an Affirming Congregation with several members who are openly gay. People in my church don't bat an eyelid if you walk in holding the hand of someone who is the same gender as you. There are also a couple of members of the congregation who are transgendered. One of those people has been attending for years as a male but a couple of years ago she came out to me and then the rest of the community as a transgendered woman. People in the congregation know that we've been friends for years, so they started asking me questions that they weren't comfortable asking her. None of those questions were mean-spirited, all came from a place of genuine curiousity. I've also seen how people react when we're out in the community - and those reactions are very different from the reactions of people at church. I've seen how people stare at her, heard the snickers and whispers behind her back. I know how afraid she is to tell her family and her co-workers that she sees herself as a woman.

 

You challenged us to go out in public holding hands with someone of the same sex. I have a female friend who is both blind and bi-sexual. Most blind people like to be guided by someone holding onto their elbow, but my friend prefers to hold hands.  When we are out and about I often see people staring at us and I wonder if they think we are a couple. It's definitely a weird feeling, but I've gotten used to it. 

 

Having said and done all that, I still feel like I have absolutely no idea of what it is like to be a member of the GLBTQ community but I will always be an ally of those who are.

RAN's picture

RAN

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The interviewee in the original National Post article also revealed that Mr. Taavel was a Christian.

 

"Originally from Sault St. Marie, Mr. Taavel was a Christian who “really lived those values,” Mr. Boyce said. “He was a big proponent of the values of love and compassion,” he said. “We spent a lot of time talking.”"

 

Is that a relevant part of the story? He certainly seems to have been an exemplary "good Samaritan" in the situation that led to his murder.

SG's picture

SG

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Raymond was a contemplative Christian and worked for Budddhist magazines...

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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Motheroffive wrote:

Jobam, I have close family members who are gay and this hits home in a hard, hard way. It also hits in a hard way when I read that the person who killed this man was mentally ill and the supports he needed were not given to him. This makes me sad and sick. 

 

What makes me even sadder is that we are moving further and further away from compassion which rachets up violence on all levels. 

I commend you on an excellent post, MOF.yes

Whenever there is polarisation - there is a tendency for a lack of compassion for the other.

(Whoever "the other" happens to be........)

 

I can't even pretend to understand the pain and suffering faced by the LGBT community - but I do suspect that fear on all sides leads to more suffering.......

 

Regardless of our sexuality, we are first and foremost all members of the human race.

Jobam's picture

Jobam

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Can someone post this video link for me....

 


 

 

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

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Jobam's picture

Jobam

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Thank you MC jae.

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

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Jobam wrote:

Thank you MC jae.

No problem Jobam.

 

On Friday I'll have some spare time so I'll watch it then.

 

Rich blessings.

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