Pride in Pride
Today is the Pride parade in Toronto. The first time I went to the pride parade, it happened to be when my father was visiting about 19 years ago. I felt I needed to attend because my team had a float in the parade. I was managing a product in Toronto called ManLine, where men used a phone system to find hookups. Think Grinder before the app. We didn’t make a lot of money on it because when men want to hook up with other men, there was not a lot of wooing. Wooing is where we made our money because the longer men stayed on the system, the more credits they chewed through. I liked to think of the product, therefore, as a necessary public service.
Because it was work, and because I was eager to support my team, and because I had heard my colleagues (many of whom were part of the community) rave about the fun Pride Parade was I wanted to attend. If it had been a rainy day, I might have given it a pass until the following year because it was my father’s birthday and not his choice to be there, but he went, and it was lots of fun. We all had our eyes opened that day, and they have never closed since.
We cooled down with water gun spray, enjoyed the bears, hugged my team who were wearing g-strings, and it was a blast. Celebrating people, regardless of gender, age, sex, race, or orientation, is beautiful.
That is why, when our family had the opportunity to attend the Gay Pride Parade in London, England last year, we all said, “Yes!” It was our kids that made sure we got there for the start of the event (not knowing it was going to be a day-long celebration). It was sunny and colourful, happy, and supportive. It was all that the world should be and more.
Whatever your beliefs, Pride is about love. I am glad we spent hours screaming and cheering, smiling and waving, laughing and celebrating love as people together. Even Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge gay people?” Remember that when you see the rainbow flags, the rainbow crosswalks, and the bears in their leather. It is not for anyone to judge. We are people, and we are different, we are beautiful.
Celebrating love is important. Whether you do it at a parade, or at your home. There is nothing more worthy to celebrate.
Happy Pride Month!