Former Blue Bomber to don dress for vaccination to raise awareness, break gender norms

Vaccination selfies: you’ve seen them populating your social media feeds, but one prominent Winnipegger wants the photos from his appointment to look a little different from the way people are used to seeing him.

Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber John Rush has started a campaign to raise funds for a local LGBTQ organization — one that will see him showing up for his vaccine decked out in a wedding dress.

Rush told 680 CJOB the project initially started as a ‘silly idea’ that got bigger and bigger after he shared it with friends and social media followers.

“I was kind of joking around when I got my vaccine appointment, and said, ‘oh what should I wear?”

“A couple of people were tagging me — some organizations that were promoting going in gowns and things like that, so I had the idea of maybe going in a wedding dress.

“It kind of snowballed into the idea that because my vaccine appointment is the day before Pride starts, on May 31, that we could do it in a way to potentially break some gender norms — a big, 230 lb, hairy man shows up in a wedding dress.”

The goal of Rush’s campaign is to raise awareness and funds for the Rainbow Resource Centre, an organization that provides outreach and support for the LGBTQ community in Manitoba.

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“They do really amazing work,” said Rush.

“In my life, I’ve had family members, I’ve had friends that have come out and are part of that community. Me, personally as a straight white male in this society, I’m afforded a significant amount of privilege — privilege that a lot of people in that community aren’t afforded.”

Rush said he wants to use his privilege and his voice to try to break down some norms. So far, he said, his fans and followers have loved the idea so far. As of Friday afternoon, he had raised more than $3,800 via GoFundMe — and counting.

“Everyone’s loving it, everyone’s loving the idea and bringing awareness and raising money for an amazing organization.

“I didn’t expect that many people to want to see me in a wedding dress.”



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