Firsts and Lasts

Tomorrow is the first ever #NanaimoPrideWeek, not only is it the first week, it’s the first ever public event to recognize diversity and equality in our city.

I watched a beautiful video this morning of the crosswalk being painted. Community members stood conversing and recording this historical event. The spokesperson for the Nanaimo Pride Society spoke about diversity and inclusivity. He spoke about community, support and family friendly events.

This was a far cry from the stereotype we see portrayed in the media.

I was struck with excitement and also a little fear. Would the rainbow remain untarnished from vandals and nay-sayers until the conclusion of the events on Sunday? I’m praying for love to win the day as people choose to either participate or remain silent.

This next week is not about the “gay agenda”,  it’s about equal rights to be as human as anyone else. I once watched a TED talk about the gay agenda. I cannot remember who was speaking, but his words stuck with me:

“What is the gay agenda? As a gay person, I would like to know. I don’t wake up in the morning and have my gay coffee, my gay breakfast and drive my gay car to my gay job.”

If I had to put this hypothetical agenda into words, I wouldn’t suggest that LGBTQ people are trying to make everyone, everywhere, in everything queer. We’re trying to make it so that people don’t have to come out anymore.

Wouldn’t it be great if youth stopped taking their own lives because they no longer have to choose between a half-life or a lie? Wouldn’t it be great if weddings were about love and not about politics or religious legalism? (I could go on about this, but I won’t, maybe another time). Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the bathroom without someone checking your genitalia?

How about eating in a cafe? Wouldn’t it be great to be treated like a human instead of a disease? It would be great if not every conversation was about who you do or don’t sleep with, I mean do straight people get asked about their sex life (or lack there of) by any well meaning concerned citizen?

Fact is, people in civilized society are being refused medical treatment, hospitality, services, funding, protection and insurance–to name a few. Pride week isn’t about making out with a pink pixie and tie dyeing your poodle–it’s about saying “we exist, we’re human, do something about it.”

On this first Pride Week celebration, I am looking forward to the day when I can share with my loved ones “and that was the last time it was legal to hurt a person for who they love.”

“That was the last time I was afraid to bring my boyfriend/girlfriend home to meet my parents.”

“That was the last time the church fired their youth pastor/worship leader.”

“That was the last time fear spoke louder than love.”

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