Stories indexed with the term ‘Jim Toy’

Braun Court

Celebration on Braun court. Speakers, cheering, hugging and kissing. Lots of politicians but mostly happy people sharing great news. [photo 1] [photo 2]

Column: Happy Birthday, Jim Toy

A mayoral proclamation made at the Ann Arbor city council’s April 15, 2013 session was not recorded in The Chronicle’s report of that meeting. Omission of such proclamations is pretty typical for our meeting reports.

Jim Toy

Jim Toy sitting in the audience at the Ann Arbor city council’s April 15, 2013 meeting.

In this case, I think it’s worth circling back to pick up that proclamation, which declared today, April 29, 2013, to be Jim Toy Day in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s Toy’s 83rd birthday.

The proclamation itself details how Toy was the first publicly out gay man in Michigan, and whose advocacy work over the last 40 years has included, among other things, the founding of the program that became the Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan. He’s the namesake of the Jim Toy Community Center.

The proclamation made at the April 15 city council meeting earned Toy an uncommon standing ovation from councilmembers.

What I wanted to record in The Chronicle’s archives were Toy’s own remarks, which he delivered after receiving the honor. The meeting took place several hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which Toy briefly mentions.

Jim Toy: Mr. Mayor, members of council, staff of the city of Ann Arbor, my comrades, and our allies, I am more grateful and humbled than I can say for this recognition – the recognition of the work of our entire constituency and of our allies. The city has advanced freedom and justice without ceasing for many oppressed individuals and groups and will continue to do so.

We thank everyone in our inter-sex, transgender, bi-sexual, lesbian, gay male, queer community, and we thank our allies for your support and advocacy through these two score years of working for justice and freedom – justice and freedom compromised and stained by the blood that has been shed by countless victims of anti-TBLGQ violence, violence generated by fear and hatred, as blood has been shed today in Boston.

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. [Full Story]