Wednesday, May 30, 2007
When tragedy strikes, community media steps in
If you aren't from Ottawa, you might not have heard of Dixie Landers. And if you don't read the queer press, you probably haven't heard that the popular and well-loved drag personality has been in a coma for the last three days, after being severely injured in a bar fight. The story hasn't hit the mainstream press, but Ottawa's queer community is getting up-to-the minute information on Dixie's condition from Capital Xtra, where readers are also posting comments to debate a case where there have been allegations of police inaction and possible mistreatment by emergency personnel.
Meanwhile, friends and supporters have set up a "Get Well Dixie Landers" group on Facebook, which now has almost 350 members. And people posting on Egale Canada's e-list are talking about the case, wondering aloud why more people didn't come to Dixie's defence, whether or not this was a gay-bashing, and what the community can do to prevent further violence.
Not a single word about this story has appeared in print or in any mainstream media outlet. But hundreds of people are staying updated on Dixie's condition, discussing the case, and organizing a community response to anti-queer violence.
A very sad case, but a truly inspiring moment for community media and online networking.
Get well soon, Dixie. Ottawa's pulling for you.
-- cross-posted to BlogThis!