Sukhdev Krishan, with partner Jen Briand, gets his toe painted by Allure Beauty Spa owner Zem Tran. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Paint your toe for Pride in Port Alberni

Alberni couple launches campaign to show support for the LGBTQ community

Two Port Alberni residents are hoping to start a campaign to show support for the LGBTQ community.

Sukhdev Krishan and his partner, Jen Briand, have been doing some research on the history of violence against LGBTQ people across the globe, from the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969, to an incident last month when a London couple was attacked and robbed in a “horrific” hate crime. After learning that homophobic attacks are on the rise, Krishan said he wants to start a campaign for straight men against discrimination.

“As a straight man, I wanted to create a symbol in solidarity to show support against discrimination towards LGBTQ,” he said.

Krishan has started a campaign he has dubbed “Operation: Camo Toe.” He has painted his big toe in camoflauge colours, and invites others to do the same and show that they oppose the violence against the LGBTQ community.

“Hopefully it picks up,” he said.

Camoflauge, he said, is characteristic of military personnel, which serves to fight and protect. “Camo Toe” is his symbol of protection by fighting hate and discrimination.

Because Pride month is in June, he added, more people will be walking around in flip-flops and sandals—making the symbol more visible.

Krishan came up with the idea a year ago, but wasn’t sure how to organize it. This June, he approached Zem Tran and Eric Bondy, owners of Allure Beauty Spa on Johnston Road, to create a partnership.

“We talked with them and created a universal symbol in support,” said Krishan.

Allure will be painting toes in camoflauge patterns on this upcoming Friday, June 21 between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The cost is by donation, with partial proceeds going to the Alberni Valley Pride Society.

“It’s just a small thing,” said Krishan. “But if nobody speaks up, nothing’s ever gonna get done.”

He invites people to post pictures of their painted toenails on social media, tagging @creative_discovery_group and @allurebeautyspaportalberni.

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