Pride for me is a celebration of life! Being an LGBTQ activist, I am constantly faced with the reality that our members are attacked on a daily basis. Some manage to recover and go on with their lives as best as possible, but many, especially my trans brothers and sisters, come face to face with death.
My best friend for a quarter century has been "out of the closet" all of his life. Me -- since I was 26. We find we agree on almost everything except Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and gay pride. He calls Pride "a bunch of half-naked gays taking up space on a main street -- why bother?" I say it is one of the most important celebrations a gay or lesbian may choose to partake in.
Call me a slow learner, but I suddenly realized why there have to be gay pride parades at all. It does not matter if it is a big city, small city, Canada or the U.S. There are not enough straight people supporting homosexual rights. And I couldn't help but wonder when the day will come that there will be no need for a Pride Parade.
Another Canada Day, another successful Pride Parade along the streets of downtown Toronto. As in previous years one of the largest parades of its kind saw hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets. The Parade itself covers less than a mile or two of Toronto's streets but the geography is far less important than the message it sends. It was only 30 years ago this February that Toronto Police raided the city's gay bathhouses, arresting more than 300 innocent men.
A recent survey said LGBT travelers are 60 per cent more likely to plan their own travel using mainstream travel websites than a gay planner. I once booked a four-star "gay-friendly" resort in Cancun from a major mainstream operator only to find out the hotel was uncomfortable with me throwing a "gay" party with at their resort.