Hello, friends of OutSupport!
I hope this letter finds you well as we go into the new year! In my spiritual tradition, this is the most important symbolic time (or at least for me, anyway!) of the year. A time for releasing what isn’t working for me anymore, and making a concerted effort and action in the direction that I want my life to go. I find it a healing process. If you are so inclined, find a piece of paper and a pen (I don’t think this would work on your phone!), and write down whatever it is you want to release from the past, whatever that is for YOU. Some part of the past year or years that truly you are ready to let go of. After you’ve written this or these things down, destroy it. At our church, the ceremony is called the Burning Bowl ceremony, and traditionally we have a fire that we throw those papers in and watch them and the thoughts on them burn away. But shredding them or other method of destruction is the important thing. Let those ideas that hold you back from being authentically YOU be released! And the next step is to determine what you want your future to look like in the new year and beyond. By releasing what has held you back, you open up possibilities in your life. So, while I am aware this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, all I can say is that it’s been a great tradition in my life, and helps me correct areas of my life that need changing.
For the new year with OutSupport, I am very grateful for the past year, and the activities and supports we’ve been able to give to people. Along with the regular monthly support group where we’ve welcomed new visitors at each meeting, looking for support, we’ve done quite a bit of outreach to the Medina community. At events on the Medina town square, we partnered with the Medina  Diversity Project, and have distributed over 300 “Hate Has No Home Here” signs to Medina County residents…it’s the rare street in Medina City that doesn’t have at least one of the signs in their yards, and several businesses, classrooms, and homes have window signs as well! If anyone wants a sign, I plan to bring them to the next OutSupport meetings for you to pick up!
Additionally, we gave away 100s of rainbow flags, stickers, and buttons to folks interested in displaying them in their homes, offices, and classrooms. Our “Transgender 101” course was presented to several companies, organizations, and libraries and churches, reaching over 150 people this year in our area.We gave binders and gaffs to many teens, including the Cuyahoga County Foster Care program, for youth in foster care. We hosted a Chipotle fundraiser for the 4 GSA groups at Medina area High Schools, to help them pay for their activities this school year. We will be distributing books and resources for local high schools and middle schools very soon, as they are now ordered from the school system that wants them, and the rest of funds from the Medina Women’s Endowment Fund will be given to the Medina County District Library for the purchase of LGBTQ books for the libraries around Medina County. Lastly, we started the conversation with the Medina City Council to bring LGBTQ Equality  through an ordinance, and have received much community support for the ordinance.
For 2019, we have several more dreams we would like to see happen, including the successful conclusion of Medina City adopting an ordinance protecting her LGBTQ residents in housing, employment and public accommodation…stay tuned!!
Several people asked about having a march on the square in the summer, and I would like to do something again this year, but I need a team to help plan it. Let me know if you are interested, and we can start planning in the springtime.
Additionally, I’ve become sadly aware of several lesbians in the NEOhio area who have recently taken their lives. I know we have had many lesbian visitors in the past years, and as our group mainly works with transgender people, they may have felt the group was not for them. I’d like to invite any lesbian who feels alone, or wants to have a circle of friends, or just isn’t interested in going to a bar to meet people, please let me know if you would like to be a part of forming a circle of friends. I’d be more than happy to email connect all of you, or if it’s easier, feel free to come to the next OutSupport meeting and you can have a separate space to discuss forming a group. I am so saddened by anyone taking their own life, and if anyone feels alone in this community PLEASE know that you are not alone! OutSupport has lots of friends, and if connecting people with others is part of what we do, I am thrilled to be able to do so. Please reach out if you are interested in forming a separate group.
We’d also like to possibly have an LGBTQ movie date or event with several back to back movies, and will be working with Unity of Medina to coordinate a date for such an event. Any ideas or suggestions for movies? Let me know!
We hope to see you at our January meeting, which will be held on January 28 at 7:00…the 2019 schedule will be up on our website and Facebook events soon!
All of us at OutSupport wish you the best year ever!!
Kindest regards,