Volunteer feature: Luis H.

August 11, 2016

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Here at QMUNITY, we have the pleasure of working with so many passionate and dedicated volunteers.

In the spring of 2015, Luis H. came to Vancouver from Mexico, eager to explore. An internet search brought him to QMUNITY, and he started volunteering with us.

Luis was an invaluable during his time as a Q volunteer, helping with everything he could, including painting the office, volunteering with all of our special events, supporting the Communications Department with his marketing skills, and providing support to individuals through his role at the Information and Referrals desk.

According to Luis, the best part of volunteering at QMUNITY was,

“The feeling of belonging! In this space I am free, I am me, and that is pretty awesome, to have a place where you feel that, and on top of that you get the chance to help to build a world that looks more like one you’ve dreamed of.”

Despite all of this, it can still be difficult for newcomers to Canada to find stability. Because of his visa status, Luis struggled to find work during his time in Vancouver. After a year of searching, and with mixed emotions, he decided that it was in his best interest to return home to Mexico City.

However, that’s where things started to turn around.

With the help of a letter of recommendation from QMUNITY, which we were more than happy to provide, Luis now holds a position as an advisor to the Director of No Discrimination Culture at Mexico City’s Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination.

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Luis and a teammate are in charge of the LGBTQ/2S local and international agenda, working to plan activities to help spread awareness and acceptance for LGBTQ/2S folks. All of us here at QMUNITY could not be more proud.

As of 2015, Mexico City belongs to the Rainbow Cities Network, a group of international cities concerned with LGBTQ/2S policies, aiming to share with and learn from each other.

Initiatives like this go a long way in terms of removing barriers and obstacles that contribute to discrimination faced by LGBTQ/2S people. Structural support in the form of policies and recommendations improve the lives of LGBTQ/2S folks and make it easier for them to be their authentic selves.

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