Cyndia Cole is our Volunteer of the Month for November

November 2, 2017

QMUNITY would like to recognize Cyndia for her dedication, passion, and leadership within the Seniors Program. Thanks, Cyndia!

How did you get involved with QMUNITY?

Cass, the Seniors Coordinator, came to QUIRK-E, the Queer Imaging and Riting Collective for Elders, and asked for senior volunteers. I was excited about the opportunity to reach out to others about LGBTQ concerns.

Tell me a bit about yourself!

I came to Vancouver from the USA in 1970 to oppose the war in Vietnam. I stayed to come out as a lesbian in 1976 and to help found SFU Women’s Studies, Van East Housing Co-op, and SGI Buddhist Pride Group. I worked in health care with persons with AIDS and disabilities, and seniors for 30 years. Now I’m re-inventing myself through writing and movement.

What’s your favourite part of volunteering at QMUNITY?

I love supporting others, co-facilitating and being an advocate for our QMUNITY.

Tell me a short story of an interaction at QMUNITY that stands out for you.

I am moved by sharing the slideshow we created about my dear friend Bill Morrow. His transformation from isolation and fear to out, proud Queer Elder seems to touch the hearts of young and old, queers and allies.

What does your happy place look like?

Spud Palace is the home I have built with my partner and chosen family. It’s a three story purple house in East Vancouver where we host friends and community events.

What activities do you find the most creatively inspiring?

Helping coordinate QUIRK-E and connecting with Youth 4 A Change sparks my creativity.
I also make cards from repurposed materials.

What items could you not survive without?

I need my Buddhist altar, purple clothes, earrings and reusable shopping bags.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day in Vancouver?

On a great day I am chanting, reading something inspirational, having heart to heart dialogues with friends, practicing ballet moves or yoga, cooking food from my garden and walking our dog with my partner.

Message from Cass, Seniors Coordinator:
To say that Cyndia is a seniors’ community champion is an understatement.

She lends her strong voice to every Older Adults and Seniors Planning and Advisory Committee, acts as a senior facilitator for Queer Competency Trainings, is a long-time QUIRK-E facilitator, represents QMUNITY at provincial summits, presented at the Honouring our Elders Tea in July, participated in Q Glossary revision focus groups, and drafted the preamble to the newest edition of the Q Glossary.

Thank you so much for your passionate dedication to older adults and seniors, Cyndia!

Interview by Alannah James, Volunteer Coordinator

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