The What, When, Where and Why
I’m raising money for my plane ticket to get to London for a queer leadership youth program. My goal is $1,300. To contribute, click on this link to The Human Experience blog where you will see a contribution widget.
I’m creating a publication with a queer focus that is for anybody who wants to help peel back the labels that dehumanize us as people, The Human Experience (T.H.E.).
There’s a 2-day leadership program in London for queer youth that I was accepted to, Stonewall Talent Programme 2012. I want to give T.H.E. global reach, and this would be a great starting point.
Lodging, food and the program are free, but I cannot afford transportation, in particular the plane ticket. Right now, the cheapest tickets are around $900. I want to make sure I have enough money to buy the ticket since prices can fluctuate within a couple of weeks, and the extra money will go towards transportation to get to and from the airport, trains & other unexpected costs while I’m traveling.
I don’t feel comfortable asking people for money, and I don’t feel comfortable asking people for help, unless I’m supporting and asking for someone else.
I’m asking for help for two reasons, one – because others encouraged me to, and two, because I completely believe in what I’m doing, how this program will help what I’m creating and how what I’m creating, The Human Experience, can benefit humanity.
How This All Started
About two weeks ago I got the acceptance email saying I was chosen to participate in the Stonewall Talent Programme 2012. I was excited, but the program is in September and I knew I didn’t have the money to go. This past Saturday, I wrote a Facebook post about getting accepted to the program, but that I wasn’t able to go. I wrote it more as a reminder for myself to remember to email them that day that I couldn’t go.
I applied for a LGBTQ youth leadership program in the UK. I got accepted, and it includes free lodging, food & the program, but not transportation. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go – and I need to send them an email today (me reminding myself).
I got an overwhelming amount of comments that took me by surprise. It was completely unexpected and very touching.
It started when one friend wrote, “Why can’t you go?” and I responded with, “It’s mid-September, and it’s unlikely I’ll be able to buy the plane ticket by then, and today is the last day that I can accept or decline. I’ll brainstorm a few things before I reply with a solid no.”
And then it grew into:
“Does anyone have miles they can donate to you?”
“Well you can always accept and Hold a fundraiser to get a plane ticket. We do it for young artist programs. You’d be surprised who would help. I’ll chip in some money, don’t have a lot but to support an amazing opportunity for you like this ill give what I can.”
“Oh are there connections to an airline? Employees have buddy passes that are stand by and cheaper tickets!”
“There has to be a way we can get you there!!! How much are tix!?”
“OMG!! There has to be a way!!”
“Accept it. With the help of friends, supporters, crowdfunding sites, airline loopholes and discounts, and some creative fundraising, I am sure you can meet your goal. Contact local businesses that are LGBTQ friendly and ask them to be your sponsors. It may turn into a partnership or business opportunity when you return – you could take what you learn in the UK and bring it back to their businesses and company cultures.”
“Bummer…. You need to go!!!”
“^^^^^^ I like what everyone else said!! Times infinity!!”
“I really think that this can happen Em.”
“Great suggestions, Angele. Sounds like a great opportunity! I would chip in some too.”
“I would help with the ticket if you go”
“Yeah if it is what it sound like to me, I think it’s important that you go. Young LGBT people really need a role model like you! I’ll chip in what I can if you decide to go.”
“Please accept it Emelina. To have these kinds of opportunities are very special. You have so many connections I’m sure that you can get funding to be able to buy the ticket. It sounds too good to pass up!”
“Stonewall is an absolutely amazing charitable organization. If you can somehow swing it, go. It sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity, and they’ll be keeping you busy for sure. Scotland’s about to pass a marriage equality referendum.”
“I am so late on this, but so happy to see the 180 you’ve pulled! Yay! Congratulations!!”
“If you want it, you will make it happen. I know you will! Go for it, woman!”
I’m still floored by that feedback. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I had posted that as a reminder to myself because I didn’t have paper to write myself a note, and I was in the midst of hitting some work deadlines before I headed off to a family reunion. I took a break to get myself my caffeine favorite, a large iced vanilla latte, and while I was driving to Pete’s Coffee, my eyes started to tear up. I was completely surprised and moved by what people wrote on my Facebook post.
I saw this image a couple of days ago, and it really resonated with me because I unknowingly have surrounded myself with people who believe in my dreams. I knew I already did this to an extent, but I had no idea to what extent. I’m still in a relative shock by it, but it’s positive shock.
That morning, I woke up with the belief that I wasn’t going to London in September for the Stonewall Talent Programme, and that same day, my mindset was changed from all the support I received. I now whole heartedly believe that I can do anything as long as I believe I can. That same day I emailed Stonewall and confirmed my place in their program. What a shift. How randomly crazy is that, to wake up one day going about my work and daily habits, and then later that day telling my family that I’m going to London in a month and a half?
What You’re Supporting
You’re supporting me, and by supporting me you are supporting The Human Experience, and by supporting The Human Experience you are supporting The Human Experience Team, and by supporting The Human Experience Team you are supporting yourself and all citizens globally. Our passion is to create a positive culture and world where people begin to listen with their hearts and see people as human beings and not misunderstood labels.
Why Support Emelina?
Why support me? My business card says People Connector and Goal Enabler. A common question is, “What do you do?” One way I define myself is as a Professional Cheerleader. I support people. I support their dreams, their passions and their individuality.
I am a recent post-grad. I graduated from college two years ago, and since then:
I have been supporting people achieve their goals and live their passions through Community Bucket List.
I have been supporting the eating disorder recovery community as an eating disorder recovery advocate and volunteer with Eating Disorder Recovery Support (a Bay Area non-profit).
I have been supporting LGBTQA people in my hometown through starting a LGBTQA club at the local junior college and helping it develop into a community off-campus.
I have been supporting LGBTQA individuals by writing about them in Curve Magazine (the best-selling lesbian magazine in the U.S.), EDGE Gay Media Network (an online news & entertainment portal to 21 + cities) and on my own blogs. I helped give their passions (music, art, film, advocacy, literature) a platform.
I get joy from helping people really see their value and worth and from helping people live their passions. If you support me, you will be helping me support others. To contribute, click on this link to The Human Experience blog where you will see a contribution widget.
– Emelina Minero