Alright everybody, stand back, we’ve got another sister team here.

Do you remember Michelle?  

I mean, Number 55?

Yeah, yeah, well now I’ve got her sister!

Say hello to Jayal:

Oops, those are her feet and paint splattered pants…

Those pants are important, bear with me.

Here’s a better picture of Jayal:

Jayal and her sister grew up in Thunder Bay with their parents, a close and loving little group who partake in a myriad of fun cultural events as a family.  Jayal loves to travel and visit with extended family; she lives with her partner Carly (I’ll catch her one day) and their kittens.

Jayal attended Lakehead University and graduated in 2009.  As a student, she was very active as a member of Pride Central, and the Gender Issues Centre.

Honouring our Stories is a community art project that Jayal is working on right now.  Through the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre, Jayal and several other artists and activists are creating a space for victims of sexual assault.  The idea is to create a space for victims to talk about their experiences free from fear: their stories will be respected and believed.

The current chapter of this expansive project is The Elephant in the Room.  Sexual assault and rape isn’t something people like to talk about.  It’s often hushed up, yet people know it’s there.  It’s off in the corner, a hulking beast like an elephant.  

Earlier this month Jayal headed a group of survivors in creating a papier-mâché elephant sculpture decorated with paint  and words of healing and encouragement.

That explains the paint splattered pants.  Well, that and the dozens of other artistic and worthwhile endeavours to which Jayal dedicates her time and efforts.

A brief glimpse into Jayal’s activities include the following:

Modeling wearable art at Urbsn Infill

Reading poetry at Poetry Against Racism 

Bringing the Elephant in the Room to Open Streets

Promoting local authors

Acting as a travel companion

Having her work in local and out of town galleries.

Marching in the pride parade

Helping organize Take Back the Night

Jayal is a tireless voice of love and acceptance. When she speaks, it’s quiet, soft, and beautiful.  But the message is loud and bold: love unconditionally, love without limits, and love without fear. 

 When you make love the focal point of your life, there’s no room for hatred, fear, and ignorance.

Thank you Jayal.

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