An open letter to all young adults who stand up for what they believe in.

To all young adults who stand up for what they believe in,

Rainbow crosswalks have been all over the media lately. Mostly because of the decision not to paint a rainbow crosswalk near a school in a local community. At first, I found this particularly upsetting. How could anyone take such a public stand against a symbol of inclusiveness? It really bothered me. Then I realized something that made me smile. Something truly beautiful, meaningful and long lasting had happened here. And it is this: you stood up. You spoke up. You resisted. You accepted the outcome, yes, but you vowed to keep raising your voices.

Don’t let anything ever change that.

Don’t let anything discount your resolve because of your age. I’ve been privileged to travel the world with the work I do. I’ve seen children of all ages and all backgrounds and it has led me to draw 2 conclusions. Firstly, it sounds like a cliché but kids are kids. From Haiti to Nepal, they’re innocent in their joy and honesty. They’re not judgmental. They’re not racist or homophobic. Unfortunately, those beliefs are taught. They are in no way genetic.

Secondly, hope is a chameleon. It takes many forms. Throughout history, challenges of humanity often surround issues of inclusion, exclusion and diversity. Traditionally, these conflicts of conscience were hidden on the premise of defined borders of geography and political circumstances. But the world today with its rapid dissemination of ideas and the Internet replacing the courier pigeon is less defined by these borders and more defined by social-political beliefs.

As a result, how we look at each other, how we accept and love each other is more important now than ever before. We are no longer defined by where we live. We are all connected. If a child hurts in Bangladesh, the effect can be felt in Torbay. If there is social injustice in Charlotte, the effects can be felt in Bathurst.

Occasionally in life, there is a challenge, an issue that is so big, so real, you know deep down it is worth fighting for no matter the heights to climb or how far you may fall. It’s often hope versus traditional opinion, traditional tenets versus change. It’s an uphill battle against entrenched beliefs. But the fight is worth it. In fact, the path uphill is in the footsteps of many, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Malala Yousafzai. You, my friends, are in good company.

I truly believe that people are not evil and the thing with beliefs is that they are subject to change. The natural disposition is not to hate and divide. But we are up against a lack of understanding, ignorance and those who embrace both almost as a point of pride. Believe me, they are wrong.

Condemn them? No. Embrace them. Love them even more. You see that’s the very basic thing they miss about inclusiveness. It’s beautiful. It’s the embodiment of love. It is nonpartisan, unbiased hug for all.

I sat in the operating room lounge yesterday scratching my eyes after a case and looked around. Surrounding me were people of many races, religions, gender and sexual orientation. Nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals working together, blind of some of the issues that still seem so challenging for some in our society. It can happen. It does happen every day. We just need the reminders that acceptance and inclusion are more powerful than division and exclusion… always.

So, to those fighting for equal treatment for the LBGTQ community, let me tell you there is a rainbow there already. And no one can ever erase it. It’s been painted on the collective hearts of those around you. You are changing minds. You are changing the future. Know that you are all loved. Thank you for your courage, your voice and for striving to be the future we all want to see.



Ps. BIG shout out to Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove who voted unanimously to paint two rainbow-coloured crosswalks to show support to the LBGTQ community. And to Stephenville, who voted to have crosswalks painted. This is the beauty of inclusiveness. And thanks to the youth of Springdale for helping that rainbow crosswalk stretch across the province.


24 Responses to “An open letter to all young adults who stand up for what they believe in.”

May 8 at 6:39 pm, Amy said:

Wow! Thank you Andrew. What a beautiful thoughtful letter.


May 8 at 6:56 pm, Frank Ricketts said:

Well said, sir. Are you related to George and:Leo Furey by chance.


May 8 at 7:04 pm, Jennifer Colford said:

Thank you for this beautiful post!


May 8 at 7:45 pm, Elizabeth said:

Thank you Dr.Furey you are right on. Thanks for all the good work you are doing.


May 8 at 8:14 pm, Doreen Dray said:

Recently I have been watching young people refuse to accept the way things are, just because that’s the way things have been, and I have been so proud. I am also proud of the adults that have raised them, that have taught them, and that have supported them. This world needs you, your voice, your determination, and your peaceful approach. You are the present and the future, and that feels so good.


May 8 at 9:04 pm, Maureen casey said:

Good, sound advice that young people need to hear.


May 8 at 11:29 pm, Donna Adams said:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the young people who are speaking to these issues in such a mature fashion, and to you, Andrew, for your wise commentary. I am amazed by the way that theses students from Springdale are continuing to deal with this problem in a way that shows the world how to deal with controversy. We need to see more of this in every corner of our world. Again, thank you for showing a better way.


May 9 at 12:58 am, Patricia clarke said:

Well written


May 9 at 1:33 am, Elaine said:

Well said Dr.Furey


May 9 at 9:17 am, Lorraine Cole said:

Thank you for THIS and for the amazing work you do!!


May 9 at 9:36 am, Fraser Piccott said:

Inclusiveness is Acceptance!
Acceptance is True Equality!
There is a Pot of Gold across that Rainbow!
Well done Andrew and very proud of You!


May 9 at 10:23 am, Joy Tilley said:

Thanks for not being afraid to speak about these issues and show support for these young people. It takes courage to stand up to mass ignorance.


May 9 at 11:49 am, Barb O'Keefe said:

Their voices are being heard around the world. Our young adults are our hope and our future. We all need to encourage their voices.


May 9 at 1:32 pm, Kim said:

Well said!


May 9 at 3:07 pm, Bern said:

Well said!!!


May 9 at 7:17 pm, Donna said:

Wonderfully said. Thank you for posting this.


May 10 at 8:02 am, Pam Rudkin said:

Well said!!


May 10 at 4:03 pm, Anne Marie Fleming said:

Well said Andrew! Every school should do what Beachy Cove has done and paint the rainbow on their own property, and no municipal agreement is needed. Springdale students are a great example to all students of the right way to challenge the “establishment” even when the result is not in your favor. Everyone else seems to be on your side so keep it up.


May 11 at 3:25 am, Mary said:

Great letter!
You are a multi-talented young man! Every high school student should have the opportunity to read this letter!


May 12 at 12:45 am, Bev said:

A very eloquent letter to young adults and a lesson for everyone ! Thank you


May 12 at 11:42 pm, Tom Mills said:

“Hope sees the invisible
Feels the intangible
And achieves the impossible “.



May 21 at 7:11 am, Gerry Russell said:

Dr. Furey you were an intern or resident with Dr.Rockwood during one of my four hip surgeries.I can certainly appreciate what you and the medical profession accomplishes.Your letters and attitude are exceptional. The letters should be published in the local newspapers for more people to read. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your accomplishments.It’s been a pleasure to have met you.Good luck in the future. Gerry Russell


May 27 at 9:06 pm, Genevieve Kennedy said:

Dr. Furey, You are one “BEAUTIFUL” human being. It is people like you who continue to put the positive and goodwill out to the universe who will change attitudes to make this World a lovely place to live for all. Love you to pieces. God Bless You, Genevieve


June 26 at 1:46 pm, June Abbott said:

Thank you for so eloquently expressing a truly important message. Young people are conscientious, mindful, and wish to make the world a better place for all. Their character traits are defined by integrity enabling them to be positively contributing global citizens.


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