Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Kathleen Wynne and the Gay Kids
I haven't written about Kathleen Wynne becoming Ontario's first woman and lesbian Premier, for a couple of reasons.
One, I hate writing the words "openly gay." You're either gay or you're not.
And two because at this point in the 21st Century I didn't think it should be a big deal.
But sadly I was wrong. For the flood of articles and blog posts claiming it doesn't matter, clearly show it does.
And although gay people have come a long way, they have come from a very bad place.
Globe and Mail columnist Orland French wrote: “It is a scene to ponder, should the NDP come to power. There, in the sunshine of Stanley Park, smack in the heart of righteous B.C., traipses Justice Minister Svend Robinson, hand in hand with his male lover. The totem poles would droop in embarrassment. Is Canada ready for this? He is flaunting his sexuality in a crusade to promote gay rights, and that’s the unsettling nature of his disclosure. If the NDP isn’t cringing, it ought to be.”
And the twenty five years that have elapsed since those ugly words were written in Canada's national newspaper, haven't been enough to erase the prejudice. It still exists. There is still a glass ceiling for many LGBT people at work. Too many people are still obsessed with their love lives.
And of course then there are the kids.
"It is important to me that young people and people who are frightened see the possibilities," she said. "And if I can help people to be less frightened, then that's a wonderful, wonderful thing."
For they still need all the positive role models they can get.
“Her and her partner/wife being out in the public, I think, will encourage more young women who are labelled as LGBT … to step out and take on leadership roles, in whatever capacity that they are in.”
One day I hope it really won't matter, and gay people will simply be treated as human.
But that day hasn't arrived yet.
Too many young people are still being bullied to death.
And when you fight like I do to help keep gay kids alive, some things really do matter.
And every small victory counts...
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