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.