Sunday, July 04, 2010
Pride Day and What it Means to Me
I went down to Pride Toronto this afternoon with a few friends, and although it was 30 degrees in the shade and I practically melted, it was an awesome experience.
Every year it seems the event just gets bigger and bigger.
And this year there are more people, more stalls, more of everything.
So much for this controversy.
Although this does seem a bit ominous.
Hopefully, push won’t come to shove this Sunday and things won’t turn out as they did in August 1933, when some foolish young punks unfurled a swastika flag at a baseball game involving a Jewish team in Toronto’s Christie Pitt Park. Perhaps you've heard of Toronto's Christie Pitt riot? The fighting went on for three days.
Or just plain hysterical and CRAZY. Because no gay person is going to hurt anyone. There is no hatred in our parade. Pride Day is about celebrating love and diversity.
And EVERYONE is welcome to join in the fun.
It is and always will be a political event. One that marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots when gay people finally said enough is ENOUGH.
It marks how far we've come. And how far we still have to go.
And this year it's also a humungous gay/straight/whatever wild but gentle street party... in a city that badly needs one.
But for me it is and always will be mostly about the kids...
Because I remember my first Pride Parade in Montreal, when two shy 15-year-olds marched down the street holding hands in public for the first time.
And how it felt like we were walking on air, that we weren't alone anymore, and that we had a big gay family that would embrace us even if others didn't.
And how after that I knew that I would fight bullying and homophobia and all other forms of bigotry FOREVER.
You know the big American gay blogger Joe My God ended a recent post about Stonewall, by quoting an old Jewish joke.
They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat.
And then going on to say this about gay people.
They wish we were invisible. We're not. Let's dance.
And so we SHALL...
Because whatever they say, or however they try to divide us.
We ARE family.
Gay, straight, or whatever, see you at the parade.
Happy Pride Day everybody !!!