Ottawa – February 16, 2016 – UFCW Canada Local 1000A member-activist Danea Lau works at a Loblaws Great Food in Ottawa and is a member of the local union's Pride Advisory Group. She recently shared her personal story with Local 1000A's magazine, Connections.
Sister Lau had the following to say about her life experience and her time in volunteering with the union:
"In the committees I am a part of, including the Pride committee, I am reminded of my belief that in order to stave off discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, violence, and oppression, I must seek to do good things for this world.
Many members of the LGBTQ community – especially those who identify as trans – face poverty, a lack of opportunity, and a poor quality of life. Many deal with a lack of medical resources, safe housing, and barriers to good employment opportunities because of discrimination.
I have been discriminated against, struck down as a child, feared for my life, faced poverty, and continue to experience many of these struggles today. I’ve faced depression, pain, and loneliness, and on some days, a desire to end my life.
Through these experiences, I have seen how a single altruistic act can make a great difference in providing hope and comfort and creating change. These actions can be as simple as taking time to listen and offer support, or volunteering through the union and other community organizations.
In the first Toronto Pride event I attended with my union, I remember seeing the massive crowds. I remember feeling awestruck, empowered, and hopeful. It was incredible to see so many people coming together for equality and change. It is a feeling that has stayed with me since.
Television personality and childhood educator Fred Rogers once said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" For me, I volunteer as much I can because I know the difference that helpers can make."