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‘LGBTQ Love Wins in Bethel, CT’ Memorial Rainbow Tree to Honor Orlando Victims, Created by Local Residents

Bethel residents Jen Prairie Jane Sage-Robison, Ruby Sage-Robison, Orion Carter, and Emily Carter recently decided to create a memorial  rainbow yarn tree on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, CT, called “LGBTQ Love Wins in Bethel, CT” to honor the victims of the Orlando massacre.

 

Report by Paula Antolini
June 20, 2016 4:13PM EDT

 

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‘LGBTQ Love Wins in Bethel, CT’ Memorial Rainbow Tree to Honor Orlando Victims, Created by Local Residents

Bethel residents Jen Prairie Jane Sage-Robison, Ruby Sage-Robison, Orion Carter, and Emily Carter recently decided to create a memorial rainbow yarn tree on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, CT, called “LGBTQ Love Wins in Bethel, CT” to honor the victims of the Orlando massacre.

It all began when Jen Prairie Jane Sage-Robison and her daughter Ruby Sage-Robison had strong feelings about the recent Orlando, Florida tragedy, Sage-Robison said.  Fifty people were killed by 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen, and 53 were injured, in a shooting massacre that took place on June 12, 2016 in a gay nightclub called the Pulse.  It is called the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in the U.S., and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in the U.S.  It is also named an act of terrorism and a hate crime.

“The project came out of my daughter’s (Ruby Sage-Robison) and my feelings of grief and outrage over the acts of hate and violence against the LGBT community in Orlando. We wanted to do something positive to show our public support for the LGBT community,” Jen Prairie Jane Sage-Robison said.

An idea came to mind when they saw a Facebook post about a dead tree on main street.  Sage-Robison said, “We saw a Facebook post from a store owner on Greenwood Avenue about this dead tree in front of her store. She was lamenting how sad its bare branches were and wished someone would do something to spruce it up. Ruby and I went down and talked to the store owner and asked how she’d feel if we decorated the tree in rainbow colors – the symbol of unity and pride in the LBGT community- as a tribute to the victims of the homophobic hate crime in Orlando. She loved the idea.”

They soon joined with others to do the project.  “Ruby and I asked our friends, Emily Carter and Orion Carter and Orion’s girlfriend, Olivia to help us. We chose to do a “yarn bombing.” Yarn bombing is a form of public art. It’s temporary public art formed by covering public objects in vibrantly colored yarn thru knitting, crocheting or wrapping,” Sage-Robison said.  This has recently been done in Torrington, CT,” she said. I’d love to do that in downtown Bethel someday,” said Sage-Robison

Together the two Moms (Jen and Emily) and the teens wrapped the dead tree in yarn, on Bethel’s main street, that is located near the Toy Room store on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, CT, and they hung rainbow ribbons and ornaments all over the tree.  They labeled the photos “Rainbow Yarnbombing in Honor of the Victims of the Orlando LGBTQ Hate Crime.”

 

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In a comment on her Facebook page Sage-Robison said, “IT’S TIME.
If you support LGBT rights in any way and don’t ordinarily speak up, SPEAK UP NOW.  If you think, yeah, I don’t think anyone has a right to tell other people who to love, SPEAK UP NOW.   If you think, yeah, I’m a “live and let live” kind of person when it comes to someone else’s sexuality. SPEAK UP NOW.  No matter where you are on the spectrum of acceptance and appreciation of the LGBT community…If you simply think: “I love Ellen. Modern Family? That show’s great. I stopped saying, ‘That’s so gay!’ 10 years ago…maybe more. I have gay friends. My cousin’s gay. I went to a gay wedding!” SPEAK UP NOW. I guarantee you, there is a kid in your life RIGHT NOW who is LGBT – whether you know it or not. And they are watching you. They’re watching you when someone else says the word ‘faggot’ to see what you’re going to do. They’re watching when 2 women kiss on tv to see how you’re going to react. And they are sure as hell watching you right now to see what it means to you that 49 innocent people lost their lives in an LGBT gathering place.  SPEAK UP.”

Reaction to the memorial tree on social media has be very positive.  Feel free to hang an ornament on this tree in support of this cause.

 

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