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LETTER: Learn from mistake and work together

Editor: I am a First Nations woman and a member of the Canmore LGBTQ2S+ community. I often get judged for who I am, often by people who don’t even know me.

Editor:

I am a First Nations woman and a member of the Canmore LGBTQ2S+ community. I often get judged for who I am, often by people who don’t even know me.

But you know where I have never been judged? At work, where I have been part of a work family for 14 years that encourages me to be who I am and accepts me for who I am. It is a place where owners and staff are happy working together. It’s a place where people from all walks of life come together every day. Some older, some younger, some of us gay and some with different nationalities. This is Valbella and I love working there.

But I am incredibly sad and frustrated I am now being judged for where I work. People are asking me why I continue to work at Valbella where they say a homophobe works. You obviously do not know the von Rotz family that I do. Over all these years, I have never felt any discrimination or racism or homophobia from the von Rotz family or the Valbella team. If I did, I wouldn’t be there.

I know my value. I would not put up with days filled with mean-spirited, racist, homophobic people around me. Jeff’s words hurt. But I know what kind of person he is: helpful, generous, and accountable. He has apologized. I believe he deserves a chance to not be judged forever. I can’t imagine what life would be like for any of us if we made a mistake and never had a chance to correct the wrong.

My work family and I deserve a chance to keep working at the place we love, and in the community we love. Let’s learn from this and let’s get back to working together.

Gail Jeffrey,

Canmore