Halifax Pride & NSRAP Unite to Remember Raymond Taavel
Posted by Wayves Volunteer Hugo Dann 9/04/2013
Crowds gather on Gottingen Street to remember activist Raymond Taavel on April 17, 2012
On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, together with many others across the Maritimes, indeed across the country, the LGBTQ Community in Halifax will mark the first anniversary of the loss of Raymond Taavel. Taavel was killed in an assault outside Menz Bar on Gottingen Street as he intervened in a confrontation.
One year ago, as the news spread through the city, in an initiative led by Jane Moloney, Executive Director of the North End Community Health Centre, businesses and service providers on Gottingen Street began to put up Rainbow Pride Flags in their windows. The impulse soon spread across the city. That evening, in front of a chain link fence decorated with flowers, paintings, and candles, more than 1,000 people gathered where Raymond had died to mourn and honour the passing of this peaceful community activist.
In the spirit of that gathering, Halifax Pride has joined the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project (NSRAP), together with Menz Bar and the Company House, in offering the community a way to mark the occasion. Here is their joint statement:
As we approach the one year anniversary of Raymond Taavel’s death, we encourage the Halifax community to join us in a simple act of remembrance. To honour the beauty of Raymond’s life, we wish to recall a moment of solidarity that came about organically following his tragic death. As this city mourned Raymond’s passing, rainbow flags started to appear in windows throughout Halifax. This silent tribute was a visual expression of our grief and of our commitment to supporting each other in times of suffering. That grief remains with us still but so does the quiet beauty of our city of rainbows.
On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, we ask that individuals and businesses hang a rainbow flag in their window and join us in a quiet act of remembrance for our friend. It is a small but meaningful gesture that will bring some solace and comfort to others, while turning a sad incident into an opportunity for solidarity and love.
A rainbow poster with Raymond’s image was created last year and is still seen throughout the city. If you do not have a flag to hang on Wednesday, April 17th, you are encouraged to visit Venus Envy at 1598 Barrington Street or The Youth Project during office hours at 2281 Brunswick Street where you can pick up a free copy of this poster.
On April 17th both Menz Bar and The Company House will also be hosting informal gatherings from 5:00-7:00 for anyone who would like to spend part of their day in a supportive environment surrounded by friends.
Thank you in advance for your time, helping us spread this message, and taking part.
Editor's Note: Halifax Pride and NSRAP have created a facebook page for this event and they are inviting people to click "going" and to share the invitation through social media. You can find the page here.
Following his passing, Raymond’s family asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Youth Project, NSRAP, or the North End Community Health Centre's Mobile Outreach For Street Health (MOSH). Should you wish to mark the day with a financial contribution in Raymond's memory, here are links to their online donation pages; MOSH; NSRAP; and the Youth Project.
Photo credit: Anita Teal Martinez