On January 17th, many hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Mission to protest a recent hate crime against a queer, trans youth. Two members of the Queer Youth Defence Network attended the rally and handed out a letter of support they wrote to the youth.

Read about their experience at the rally in The Volcano newspaper and download the letter as a PDF.

Hello, We are the Queer Youth Defense Network! We’re a small group of queer youth living in suburbs outside of Vancouver. We started meeting together to organize against homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other issues we face.

We want to know if you’re alright, and offer comfort and solidarity. We wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

We have experiences with bullying too.

The most common type of bully, in our experience, is the “basic white girl.” They are popular, have social power, and travel in packs. They always have a bunch of friends, or maybe even just one or two, who are willing to follow along and join in on the harassment. It always makes them feel more intimidating and scary.

Most of the time, queer kids don’t bully other queer kids. Bullies are usually straight, and aggressively heterosxual. They are usually racist, homophobic, and transphobic. They scare us, and probably everyone else. Basically they’re just a bunch of assholes. Nightmare fuel. Of course there are exceptions, sometimes even queer kids will harass others. Just because you’re gay doesnt mean you arent transphobic, its really a struggle.

Bullies use anti-queer slurs and are on social media, which means that cyberbullying is a problem too.

The problem is not just the bullies. Most teachers and administrators don’t care about bullying, especially towards queer youth and youth who don’t follow normal social constructs. They don’t usually care about queer and trans kids in general.

This is all why we formed the Queer Youth Defense Network to organize, to support, and defend ourselves and other youth. We want you to know that we stand with you against homophobic and transphobic violence.

This letter is written by youth for youth, and is not done up by some professional adult! We just wanted to reach out.

Sincerely: The Queer Youth Defense Network!