Every facet of our life is dictated by a clear and consistent distinction between perceived male and female roles. Whether it be employment, health care, voting rights, marriage, social services, religious practices, parenthood, public restrooms, housing, respect and freedom from violence, we are required to declare a gender and that it "match" conventional beliefs about maleness and femaleness. And it is expected that our declared gender align with the role hegemonic forces believe we should embody in that declared gender. "In essence, the establishment of a gender identity is a learned bias that constricts us all. In reality, one's gender identity and gender expression should be decided not by predetermined expectations, but by each of us individually. And over time, we should live in a world where we have full rights to modify our gender identity or express our gender differently. Until that is realized, we will continue to live in a world filled with unhealthy schism," says Iana Di Bona.
Along the trek, the Into the Light walking team will coordinate with people and organizations to hold numerous candle light vigils at the specific places where people have been murdered or have committed suicide due to gender identity and gender expression discrimination. They will also be providing gender identity and gender expression workshops and civil disobedience trainings as well as theatrical performances inspiring people to walk into their own light and true potential. "As a community," states Tiffani Bishop, "we must recognize injustice and continue to agitate against it. Until then, we will continue to be treated as less than human, especially in the rural south." In addition, the group will be donating 10% of every dollar raised to fund their journey to charities that share the mission of the walkers - to end gender discrimination.
The walkers are hopeful this 9-18 month journey will help raise up more voices into the effort for full social and legislative equality. "Together we will walk into the light of the world in which we want to live, as we remember those we've lost," says walker Alan Bounville. "Each step we take will be one closer to a transformed world."
Into the Light Walking Team: Tiffani Bishop, Alan L. Bounville and Iana Di Bona www.intothelightwalk.com
Into The Light is a part of Connecting Rainbows: Civil Rights Walks for America. All over the USA people are walking and taking other action in a push to move the LGBTQ movement towards a full civil rights platform - www.connectingrainbows.ning.com
Please consider a tax-deductible donation today to help them to reach as many people as possible!: https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/4143