ANN ARBOR –
Jim Toy was honored by both the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti City Councils for his commitment to advancing LGBT rights in those cities. For over 40 years Toy has stood as the father of the gay rights movement in Michigan. He is the founder of Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan, and was involved in the growth of the community center now named in his honor, The Jim Toy Community Center.
Ann Arbor has proclaimed April 29 as Jim Toy Day. Upon receiving the proclamation at their April 15th meeting, Toy thanked all in the community and said, “Let me thank you all with deep gratitude for your patient support since 1971. I thank you for enduring my inadequacies, my prejudices, my isms, and my fear. I beg forgiveness of all whom I have ignored, neglected and wounded during these 40 years.
“And now let’s look around us.
“We see our past, we see our present, we see our future. As we move into our future I think of our sister, Audre Lorde. Our sister Audre said, ‘If we wait until we are unafraid to speak, we will be speaking from our graves. It is not difference that immobilizes us, it is silence.’ And Audre continues, ‘When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.'”
To learn more about the Jim Toy Community Center, visit http://jimtoycenter.org/. For more on the Spectrum Center, visit http://spectrumcenter.umich.edu/.
ANN ARBOR –