Justin Rabon and Brad Neumann have been together since shortly after they came out to each other as Division I track athletes back in 2014.
Now, the Minneapolis couple is racing to provide food, water and other essential supplies to protesters and people impacted by civil unrest in their home city.
Rabon told OutSports he was initially “paralyzed and frozen with fear” by the protests over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police.
“After seeing everyone’s overwhelming support, friends checking in with me making sure I felt safe, all my friends and work were reaching out, and seeing all the good the community was doing to come together, that really gave me the motivation to do something,” Rabon said.
Rabon and Neumann began soliciting donations on social media, raising $7,000 in the first 24 hours. They used the money to travel to the suburbs where stores remain open, purchase supplies, and bring them back to people in central Minneapolis. They plan to donate any excess funds to local community centers and black-owned businesses.
“This has been the most trying and difficult week of my entire life,” Rabon wrote on Instagram. “At times, I’ve felt defeated, lost, hopeless, and in some of the darkest head spaces I’ve ever endured. Thanks to the community organizers around me, wonderful family and friends, and an unbelievably caring boyfriend I’ve found my strength again. The FIGHT I see everyday here and around the country is amazing, and we can’t stop. Research, donate, vote, educate, and most importantly, listen to the black voices around you and hear our stories and pain. … Do not forget, black lives matter, George’s life mattered, and spread that like wildfire! Have those uncomfortable conversation, BE THAT CHANGE amongst your friends and family who’ve remained silent this past week.”
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🏳️🌈 Happy Pride Month 🏳️🌈 ☆ Let this month bring beautiful and positive moments and memories to all queer people around the world! ☆ With that being said, please remember that this month, we celebrate ALL members of the LGBTQ+ community and how we have helped shape the world into the place we live in today. This month is about inclusivity and positivity for everyone, so it is our duty to make every member of our community feel safe. Please let that same energy carry on into next month, the month after that, and so on. We have the ability to make this world better for everyone in this community, but it starts with us. ☆ Have fun, be safe, and make memories that last a lifetime! I know I will with the love of my life! 😁
Neumann wrote: “We must stand up and fight for our black friends, families, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone else in the black community. Not just today. Not just this week. For the rest of our lives. Please check in on your black friends. Make sure they’re okay, see what you can do for them. There is so much more that needs to be done. Which side of history are you on?”
Rabon and Neumann made headlines in 2017, when they came out publicly in essays published by OutSports. At the time, they were both sprinters on the University of Minnesota track team. The couple later became the subject of a docuseries called GenerationQ. Watch the trailer and a news report about the couple below.