For 45 seasons the West End Slo-Pitch Association (WESA) has created space for gay, bi, and queer men and our gender diverse siblings/neighbors to have a space to engage in sports in a community setting. We applaud WESA for creating opportunities for people that have been historically rejected from sports. Since their foundation they have been a group of strong community advocates who have raised funds for organizations like: Qmunity, Rainbow refugee, and more.
When we told WESA about how governments were taking no action on the healing and recovery efforts that were needed following the federal ban/illegalization of “conversion therapy” (which we call Conversion Efforts) they immediately rose to the occasion.
The WESA Association, lead by Commissioner Sean Cummings, as well as event Host Lance Sandover, welcomed HIM as the beneficiary of the 2023 WESA Drag Pageant Fundraiser. The pageant has been a fixture of the league’s annual activities since 1987 and this year hosted over 700 enthusiastic attendees. The fundraiser managed to raise close to $11,000 which will empower HIM to operate Survivors, a Peer-led program designed to support the survivors of conversion efforts.
Survivors is led by people with lived experience because we know how much of a difference it makes to have programs and services directed by the people who are most impacted. This program is built on a foundation of compassion, understanding, and empowerment. A key component of the program is the way that it invites and trains participants to become peer-leaders and to come back through the program as facilitators, organizers, and promoters of healing and wellness.
This is a shining example of a time when our community shows up and shares their resources towards a better future. 100% of the donation will be going back into community through this program.