Saturday, June 30, 2012

Me and the Pride Day Parade

OMG. It's the Gay Pride weekend in Toronto and I should be looking forward to the festivities. 

Canada Day and Gay Day what more could you ask for?

But instead I'm lying in my tree hammock in my jockey shorts, cruising for a cool breeze, quaffing gallons of lemonade.

And wondering do I REALLY have to go to the Pride parade? 

When it's going to feel like forty degrees in the shade. The last time it was so hot at the parade I had to be revived with a garden hose.   

And this year I don't even have a good reason to lug around my Super Soaker. Now that I know that the dumb bigot Rob Ford won't be there. 

Because he will march in the Easter Parade...

But he won't attend the raising of the rainbow flag in a city with gazillions of gay people.

And then there's the bigger problem eh? How can I celebrate Gay Pride, when Harper's Cons are strangling the life out of this country? I feel like I'm at a funeral that never ends. And I don't feel like celebrating ANYTHING.   

But then I remember that Gay Pride Day may look like a party, and it is a celebration of survival. But it's also the anniversary of a rebellion.

A day to honour those who first fought back, a day to remember those who can't celebrate Gay Pride Day because they are living in fear, still fighting for their freedom, or dead.

Days ago in South Africa, Thapelo Makutle, beloved by family and friends alike, was found dead with his throat cut, his tongue cut out and his genitals cut off and pushed into his mouth. In a typical sign of a hate crime, Thapelo Makutle was over-killed as a threat to all advocates of human rights for LGBT people.

The victims of grotesque bigots who hate gay people so much they'd wage war on a rainbow coloured cookie.  

 Some of the more egregious comments were reprinted by BuzzFeed, including “gays need to leave America,” “Yet another liberal company destroying our religious values and teaching immorality” and “This is absolutely disgusting. Your attempt to ‘normalize’ the behaviour of homosexuals has cost you a customer.”

And I remember how even in Canada LGBT kids in our schools are still being bullied to death. 

And what the sight of hundreds of thousands of gay people and their straight allies can mean to kids like Connor who are just coming out...

Who was lucky not to have been thrown out of his home, like so many other young gay people are when they come out to their parents. The orphan street kids of Canada.

And then I KNOW I'll be there, in the hellish heat, even if it KILLS me. 

Because it still is a rebellion. We do have a lot to celebrate. 

And the Pride Parade is still a joyous gesture of defiance in the face of never ending  prejudice. 

Yup. Those are the amazing people who made me a fighter. The ones who taught me never to give up. And this is my message to them:

The war against the Cons, the bigots and the bullies will continue until ALL of us are free.

But tomorrow we PARTY !!!!!

Hooray for YOU. Hooray for me and my friends. Hooray for all our straight allies.

Happy Pride everybody !!!


  1. Don't forget that we still have a bill wending its way through Parliament yet again to try to extend basic human rights protections to transsexual and transgender Canadians. So yes, still political and still vital.

    1. hi Mercedes...I haven't forgotten that bill, and thanks to your blog I know we must keep on eye on the Cons in case they try to amend it in some malign way. But that's why I wrote that the war will continue until ALL are free...

  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    Lovely post.

    1. hi anonymous...thank you I'm glad you liked it. I did go to the parade, I thought it was great, one of my friends hosed me down with his Super Soaker, and although I was totally exhausted I really enjoyed myself...

  3. e.a.f.8:52 PM

    great column! Happy Canada Day, now get out & go to the parade.

    I will never understand people who are anti-gay. Like what's it to them what others do.

    1. hi I just told anonymous I did make it out to the parade, and I had a great time. I've always fought against any kind of bigotry, and a parade that celebrates diversity and love is my kind of parade... :)