PRIDE Canadian-style

8 years ago

June seems like the perfect time to talk about Pride in Canada. I mean it's Pride month and all right? Well, sorta. One of the first things you need to know about Pride in Canada is that up here in Canada we can't seem to decide on the best time for Pride so it's celebrated in different areas all through the summer. Edmonton last week, Toronto this week, Montreal's and Vancouver's in August and Calgary's is in August. We can't decide on a single point to celebrated it but we know it's important that we do.

I thought that writing about Canada and PRIDE would be easy. I really did, but it's not. It's not easy to put into words what Pride is or what the experience is like. No, I don't fall under the GLBT banner (as one of my friends has said, I'm hopelessly straight) but I have a lot of friends that do. I grew up in a small town in a small province. I did not know a single person that was openly gay in high school. The laws of statistics tells me that my high school had to have been GLBT but they were not out (and quite probably still are not). From that small town I went to Montreal, which let me tell you, is a whole different world. Among the differences there were gays and lesbians in my dorm! There were bisexuals! It was very much a "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" experience and I can sum it up in one word. Awesome.

I loved being in a community where people could just be themselves. I met some of my best friends in that community. They took me to my first Pride and I in turn took others to theirs. I've cheered on friends as they've participated in Pride parades. I get the importance of Pride. It's not just that it is fun, though it is. Where else are you going to be standing and watching a parade and turn to the friend beside you and say, "I just got hit on the head by flying condoms." It's more than that. It's the signs from the proud parents. It's seeing a friend who was in the closet for a long time be in the parade. It's what BlogHer Contributing Editor Zoe experienced at her first pride.

It was belonging, and sense of community, and freedom, and openness, and joy, and pride, and love, and hope, and exhilaration, and so much more that I can't even explain. It was, as I said before, indescribable, and amazing. And that was all before PFLAG went by. I don't know why or where my reaction came from, but I got teary over PFLAG.

If you are Canadian, or if you are coming to Canada this summer, OUTtv Canada has a fantastic list of GLBT and Pride events across Canada.

According to the International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Coordinators (InterPride), the global pride theme for 2009 is “Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights”. The theme is an important one as America struggles to catch up with Canada in the context of gay marriage, and even more befitting when we consider the number of smaller town, start-up Prides in Canada still fighting huge battles in order to celebrate their cultural diversity.

While I was looking for posts to link to for this I discovered many a fantastic GLBT event. Perhaps the one that I wish I could attend more than any other is the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo. Yes. Gay rodeo. I know, you think it's awesome but it gets better. Thanks to Jennifer at the Rurban Fringe I now know more of what they do at the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo event. She even provided video. I bring you, goat dressing.

Yes. They are putting underwear on a goat. Far safer than roping a calf.

The Red Tent Sisters asked, what does pride mean to you?

As I glance across the room at this new family unit celebrating mother’s day for the first time, a wave of deep gratitude comes over me that we live in a city and country that has allowed these three people, whom I adore, to choose each other and to love each other, as they are meant to. I then look at my daughter, who, in great part due to Anya and Tara, has fluid ideas about love, family, sexual orientation, and choice. And my heart swells with pride. When it comes to LGBTQ rights, we may have a long way to go, but I am infinitely grateful for how far we have already come.

M at Reason and Squalor concludes her post on her own sexuality, I'm gay but my boyfriend isn't, with this:

And this also forms the basis of why, despite my dislike of parades, I support the gay Pride Parade and what it hopes to achieve. For all of those young girls out there who feel like the just don't quite understand why they're so different, and what that means, or just for people who think they're "totally" straight, maybe seeing this parade will open up their world just a little bit. Maybe they'll meet someone nice as they pass by the parade on their way somewhere else, or they'll sit at home and think about what it means to be "gay" or "straight" as they see commercials for Pride week on CTV. If this happens even a tiny fraction of the time, I think it's worth it. So happy Pride.

Happy Pride indeed.

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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