The Get REAL Movement
When ultimate legend Remi Ojo (star playmaker on Team Canada, GOAT, and many more teams) introduced us to the Get REAL Movement, we knew immediately this was a truly special organization.
Get REAL was founded in 2011, inspired by our experiences volunteering in the Welcome Week program at Western University. As older mentors to hundreds of students each year, we began noticing that we were having success talking to our first years about derogatory (homophobic, transphobic, racist, etc) language, and creating a safe space for marginalized students who were looking to express themselves safely. The reason was in our approach: we were close in age, friendly, non-judgmental, and personal -- we often opened up about our own lives to build a genuine, honest, human connection. And it worked. We saw countless students changing their language within days, and countless others coming out to us and feeling more comfortable being themselves. - History of Get Real
Diving into Get REAL's online resources is eye-opening. For example, their website has a section called Bind Safe, "an informational hub and educational video series promoting safe binding practices, education around the basics of gender dysphoria, and additional resources for youth, parents, medical professionals, and allies."
In our opinion, these are the resources that save lives.
"I had a meeting with Chris Studer (Get REAL's Executive Director) that was engaging and inspiring," say VC's CEO, Adriana Withers. "All I could think was that Get REAL was creating and delivering programming that makes a difference to LGTBQ+ youth across Canada, and I wanted to find ways to support them - beyond buying a SWEET t-shirt in their merchandise shop!"
We followed Get REAL on Instagram, amplifying the thoughtful and thought-provoking content they shared, and wondering how we could further support their efforts.
We are proud to announce that Get REAL is VC's 2021 Pride Month beneficiary organization!
"We are so proud and grateful to be the 2021 beneficiary of VC Ultimate's Pride collection, a brand who shares our mission for creating safer and more accepting environments both through education and through amazing clothing!", says Get REAL's Chris Strudder. "Thank you Adriana and the whole VC Ultimate team, for providing a huge boost to our programming, as we head into our biggest year supporting 2SLGBTQ+ youth with our Workshops, University Chapters, After-School Programs, and educational resources!"
VC is proud to be supporting Get REAL with a portion of revenue (15%) of every sale in our Pronouns and Pride collections during the month of June. In addition, we are committed to gifting a shirt from our Pronouns collection for every one purchased by our community this month, with the goal of spreading the message that correct pronoun use matters.
We take the creation of our Pride collection seriously, wanting to avoid the "commodification of queer culture" (a line learned from Elif Cadoux during a Both/And workshop entitled "White Queer Colonizers") and actually make a positive impact in our community.
As an organization owned and run by a LGBTQ+ community member, VC is dedicated to promoting education and action towards inclusion. One way we endeavor to do this is by starting conversations through message-based designs, such as our Disruptor, Everyone is Welcome, and Sports Are Political lines.
Our Respect My Pronouns collection will take front and centre stage for our Pride celebration this year. Read about it in our earlier posts and stay tuned...
Now, go check out the Get REAL Movement!