This is a wonderful guest (re)post written by Guider Tara, originally posted to her blog The Daisy Field. Tara shares her thoughts about the importance of growing Guiding and sharing the inclusive ideals of Guiding in places both near and far!
It was a big day for us…when the West Coast Area Girl Guides hosted a booth at the Vancouver Pride Festival.
The response we received was overwhelming! People were so happy we were there and we heard over and over that it was long overdue. Many people were surprised to see us and to hear that we are an inclusive organization. I was moved by many stories of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people who had taken part in Guides and Scouts as children, and who felt it made a huge difference in their lives. I was deeply saddened by one woman that we talked to who long ago had been kicked out of Guides for being lesbian. One of my favourite moments was when three young women walked by, slowing down, and one girl turned to the other and said “Wow…Girl Guides love gays!” I just wanted to give her a huge hug!
I also met a sweet young man who had grown up in Guides and credits it as being one of the saving graces in his younger years. We had a great talk about his involvement and he even bought a bunch of cookies! He challenged us to know more about the process for young people who are transitioning and curious.
Many people were sad to hear that Scouts were not taking part and hoped that they would follow us to the festival next year!
I am so proud to be part of an organization that values people over sexuality/race/religion. It was quite a journey for us to get to Pride this year and we came up against lots of opposition even within our own organization. People are always afraid of what they don’t know. I think they will be happy with what we have to show them!
We handed out all our adult registration forms and a whole bunch of girls forms. We even had to phone our provincial office to let them know that TONS of people would be calling for cookie info!
By guest blogger and Guider Tara. To read more by Tara, visit her blog The Daisy Field.
What action/s have you taken lately to make your Unit more inclusive? Join the discussion!