Riding the Arc for LGBT Rights

by V
Danielle Girdano

via AdaEveningNews.com

Danielle Girdano is a member of the LGBTQ community who will make history. She is riding the Spirit Prairie Trail, a 1400 mile bike ride which she began on August 9th, in Minneapolis, MN and will end in Dallas, TX tomorrow. That’s right, tomorrow. So, what’s so special about this feat? Well, it is special for two reasons. One is the fact that she’s doing it to raise awareness for LGBTQ rights and to raise awareness for teen and young adult suicide, especially among gay youth, which is the highest among any demographic worldwide.

“One of my main reasons for doing this is to draw awareness to the high teen and young adult suicide in the GLBT community.  It’s the highest (rate) of any demographic, worldwide,” Girdano said.  “My number one goal is awareness and to generate dialogue.”

The other is that this trail has only been completed by two men. She will not only be the third person to complete this ride, she will be the ONLY woman to have done so.

“One of the reasons why it’s never been completed by a woman and has only been completed by two men in 35 years is the headwind.  You have a constant headwind in your face the entire way,” Girdano said.  “It’s just like the resistance our community has had.”

The LGBTQ community, like many minority communities, has had to face a constant headwind in their face their entire way toward equality.  She is a woman who is set to make history tomorrow.

I also would like to take a moment to mention that the Spirit Prairie Trail is part of Ride the Arc, which was named for a quote from one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speeches. The same speech was quoted recently by his niece, Ms. Alveda King, during Glenn Beck’s 8/28 rally.

“The name ‘Ride the Arc’ comes from a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote,” she said.  “At the end of the quote, he says, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.’”

Everyone seems to have their own idea about what “justice” means. But, for me, and for many others, the word “justice” is tightly linked with phrase “equality for all.” Many people would like to see the LGBTQ community fail its quest for equality. But in America justice is about insuring the safety of others who hold opinions that might deviate from the mainstream.

I wish Danielle Girdano all the luck in the world. Her time on the trail will garner more awareness that will help remove or weaken some of the obstacles in the way of other members of her gender and community.

2 Comments to “Riding the Arc for LGBT Rights”

  1. Wow, this is a great post, V! I’m so glad you’ve written about this amazing young woman! There really is a great deal of symbolism in the task she’s set herself (I love this idea of riding into the headwind). She deserves praise as an activist and as an athlete. I hope she not only changes minds, but inspires young people to go out and act.

    I have always loved that MLK quote. It puts into elegant words something that is evident throughout history. Though humanity has had multiple and severe setbacks, the overarching direction is toward equality and justice. This is especially evident in the past century. Clearer heads will prevail.

    • I totally agree, D! When I read about this I immediately thought that this would make a great post. I am very proud of this young woman, even though I do not know her. As a member of the LGB community myself and as a woman. 🙂 I will be checking around tomorrow to see if she finishes her ride on time. I’m sure she definitely will inspire others and change minds. I cannot imagine how she couldn’t! Sure, there will be people who disagree, but there always will be.

      I also love that quote from MLK, and you are quite right in your assessment here of the history that proves it true.

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