It was only in February last year that Chantel and I tentatively shared our idea for Wendybird with a group of friends and colleagues that I admired greatly for their achievements in the LGBTI community. Most people probably don’t know their names, but you will likely be aware of the things that they have created – Transcendence, T Bar, Big Gay Day, Open Doors, Many Genders One Voice, and many more foundations of the LGBTI sector in Brisbane - so I have been in awe of their work since I started my own queer career many years ago.
Surprisingly to me, they where not only interested in the idea, but have gotten on board with energy, ideas and years of knowledge to help create something with one key commitment – to build a space where people can connect.
Even before we held our first event, Wendybird was creating a community where we all felt like we belonged to something important; where we all were valued and where we could contribute to building something that we valued; and the first tentative feelings of hope that we had founded something that would be meaningful to people in our community
I must admit, it was pretty scary to finally hold our first event in the Brisbane Pride Festival in September, wondering if people would turn up, wondering if people would understand what we were trying to do and if they would connect with us in the way that we hoped.
But you did turn up and almost instantly we saw people connecting, reaching out of your individual worlds and forming bonds with those around you. We saw community forming around us and have be warmed by the stories of your experiences of Wendybird.
This year we will be continuing to create these spaces for connection by holding an event every 6 weeks where we will continue to invite people to redefine community as something we do not as something that exist external from us, but which is within and between us.
Welcome to 2015, lets do things differently together.