Last year, Ojibwe hip-hop artist Young Jibwe attended the Mayday: No One is Illegal gathering in Toronto - an annual march and protest that takes place around the world in pursuit of equality and justice for immigrants and refugees. There, Young Jibwe was inspired to make an impromptu speech from the stage. A year later, he is sharing more of that story and inspiration.
Young Jibwe didn't plan on speaking at the March, but among the many placards and signs with messages of anti-poverty, environmental justice, and health for all, one sign in particular grabbed his attention: "Gay people are killed in Iran".
It's a true and disturbing fact.
Fueled by that information, Young Jibwe asked if he could speak from the stage and, mic in hand, he delivered spontaneous, impassioned and inspired words.
Later, he wanted to share more of the story behind his speech. "I wanted people to get a good insight of me, so they can see and hear the inspiration for themselves", he told RPM.
The result is this video with live footage of Young Jibwe's speech intercut with a candid and open offstage interview about his life experiences - including forced gender reassignment at birth, enduring harassment and abuse as a youth, discovering his past, and sticking with his music despite the difficult times. Through it all, Young Jibwe continues to transform his experiences into music - surely the best medicine of all.
Watch and listen here and be inspired to share your story too. I think whenever anyone is honest about their experiences, it can be healing for all of us.
VIDEO: Young Jibwe Talks Success