Pride. Living in Toronto is an absolute pleasure, especially when theres an annual event like Pride. If you don’t know what it is, its a celebration of the LGBTQ community. Its a whole month devoted to celebrating and having PRIDE in who you are. Its culminated by the annual parade. Which is basically a massive party in the street, with dancing, laughing, singing, floats, and most importantly love. Seeing the people downtown, seeing the smiles and happiness is something to relish in.
I grew up in a conservative town where it wasn’t uncommon to hear people use the word “faggot” or say “thats so gay.” I’m guilty for at one time being a product of my environment. I remember watching the news and hearing that the gay marriage was legalized in Canada. I remember hearing the protests, watching people scream and say its unnatural. Now in 2005 I was 13, so I don’t think I had a good grasp on what marriage, love or what “gay” or “same sex marriage” was. But I didn’t understand why these people were so mad. Prior to this I’d only seen hysteria like this on 9/11 and when the war broke out. I remember they spoke to us about it in school, and naturally when they did we laughed because well we were 13.
Heres what I did know. I knew that marriage involved love, and that if you loved someone it was unbreakable… Cut me some slack I was 13. Actually I still believe that. That if you love someone its going to be forever. Love can’t turn into hate. So did these people on the news hate… Love? Sure seems so.
It also dawned on me that, “Who the fuck are you to tell person A and person B that they can’t love one another?” If these two people want to get married it means they love each other, it means they found each other, that one of them had the courage to ask the other out, buy a few dinners, be in a relationship and buy a ring and propose. At the time when it was announced that gay marriage was legalized there was enough hate in the world.
Now these are views I’ve carried with me since then, but like most 13 year olds I was afraid to be in the out crowd. I didn’t join in the hate parade… actually I used the word “gay” negatively and used the word “faggot” too, so maybe I was part of that hate parade. Actually yeah I was. Well I’d like to publicly apologize for that. Something changed though as I got older. I went to a pretty conservative high school, a catholic school. One of my favourite teachers was gay. An art teacher, with an impeccable fashion sense and flare for passion. We all knew he was gay, no one really said anything about it. There was the odd snicker about it but thats high school.
I was sitting in the chaplains office, we had a great relationship. We’d talk about life, love, religion… I think its because of her I studied that in school. Well we sat there talking and she mentioned that some of the other teachers were a little upset that she congratulated the art teacher on his marriage, or engagement, I can’t remember. But what I do remember, that was the moment I knew that I’d never use the word “faggot”, or gay as a negative, again… and I’d be vocal about it. Let me drop some knowledge, if you’re an asshole it has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. I was surprised at how petty some of these teachers were when it came to their colleague.
So whats the point of this post? I think the world has enough hate in it. I saw some pretty hurtful comments on social media about Pride. My question is this, what does it say about you if you’re against love? The LGBTQ community are doctors, first responders, athletes, pilots, baristas, PR people, musicians, actors, they’re people like me and you and its a shame that they’ve lived in fear. Its a shame that they’ve been afraid to be who they are. Its a shame that they’ve had to keep their love a secret. Love is the strongest force in the universe. Its what makes everyone say that their moms home cooking is the best. Its what gave me hope when I felt like I was on the edge. Its the greatest feeling on the planet. Love is love and it really does know no bounds.