I am trembling. I spent some time yesterday writing and rewriting an email, read it to friends, left it 24 hours, read it to my daughter, just sent it.
There’s been a huge injustice in my neighbourhood; a vulnerable elderly woman is being evicted from her longterm basement suite, which she’d been promised she could stay in until her landlady’s death. The whole house was recently bought by a new landlord, who is allowing the former owner to stay but has evicted my friend; she was given a few months to find another place and get out. She used to help her landlady with her dogs and her garden; they were friends, until the landlady, a difficult woman, turned against her. I’ve been involved in trying to help her find a new place she can afford, which in this city, as we all know, is almost impossible. She is a cancer survivor, has a cat, no family, very little money, has been frantic for months. It’s heartrending.
And then I discovered that the man who bought the landlady’s house and threw out her tenant advertises himself on his work website as a committed social activist, proud of taking care of the elderly and vulnerable among the city’s LGBT community. Fury boiled.
So despite some trepidation, I wrote and sent this, names excised here:
I am a longtime friend of X and once, though no longer, of Y. I have followed the appalling way X has been treated by you both with horror and sorrow. It says on your company website that you are “reaching out to Canada’s aging LGBT community to create a safe environment to assess the needs of this under-served population and bringing homophobia, gay-friendly housing and outreach to the forefront of social activism.”
P.S. Much shit has hit the fan; several emails have come burning back, and I’ve replied. This has taken the better part of a day. But I really don’t think I had a choice. Do you?