There is a story I had wanted to share in recognition of Pride month, but June turned out to be an especially difficult time for our family, and in the midst of wading my way through some personal and professional hardships, my intentions disappeared along with the days.
As diversity is something we honor 365 days a year, I’ve decided to share my story anyway.
Several years ago, Raimee’s friend and co-farmer, Dolores, invited him to their birthday celebration. I decided to tag along, because I often worry about how Raimee will be received in environments where folks may not be familiar with autism. (And who doesn’t like a good party?)
When we arrived at the house, the majority of the party attendees, who had plans to go to the Queer Prom later that evening, were dressed in all manner of sparkling loveliness- sequins, spandex, neon boas, colorful make up, and, if I’m remembering correctly, there was even a swishy purple cape in the mix. Dolores paused the music and introduced Raimee to everyone in the room. Their partner asked Raimee to help serve the birthday cake. A short while later, one of the guests noticed Raimee looking through books of poetry and asked him if he’d like to do a reading. (He did.) After that, Dolores handed over the laptop and asked Raimee to DJ.
It was, quite possibly, one of the most inclusive gatherings that Raimee has ever attended. He didn’t need me to be there at all. And when we got home that evening, I found myself feeling very emotional about the experience, having briefly been invited to witness a celebration of connection, love, and support; and I shared my thoughts with my husband. Keith pointed out that many folks in the LGBTQ community have likely occupied similar spaces of feeling excluded, invisible, isolated, and perhaps, patronized for their differences from what most would consider “normal;” and that it made perfect sense that this group of folks would embrace Raimee and offer opportunities for him to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. To this day, the memory of that evening holds a place in my heart as the way I hope to see our culture evolve in the days ahead.
We are so much better together. And while there is so much work to do to cultivate communities of kindness; sometimes, the things that matter the most require only a small amount of effort- a party, an introduction, an opportunity to participate, cake, and a swishy cape.
At Blawesome, we want to initiate ripples of goodness and create pathways for building meaningful and connected relationships that lift up and honor everyone’s unique contributions to the world. We would like to invite you to help us grow a movement of acknowledgement for those among us who may feel invisible, left behind, or unappreciated. We want to share hope and beauty with our community, and in this way, inspire change towards building a truly inclusive society- one that rejoices in our differences and honors all manner of diversity.
As always, thank you for being a part of our Blawesome family. Your love and support continues to energize and sustain our hearts. We are deeply grateful for all the ways you make our work possible.
With joy and light,
Rebecca, Raimee, and the Blawesome Crew