Evidence shows, and I find to be true, that same-sex parents tend to be highly motivated, involved, and committed, as they "chose" to be parents and often did a lot of work to become parents. Same-sex parents rarely become pregnant by accident, compared with approximately 50 per cent of accidental pregnancies among heterosexual partners. Children of gay parents may have advantages in open-mindedness, tolerance and equality, though of course many kids of heterosexual parents may have the same.
This past May, I was excited as heck when the book was finally published and printed, in my hands and ready to show the world. Only -- not everyone in the world wanted to see it, and most certainly not the school within my district. At Charlottetown Junior Public School, I approached my daughter's former kindergarten teacher about doing a reading to her students. Shortly after, I was told by the teacher that the VP said "not now" citing that the timing would likely create a backlash due to the introduction of Ontario's new progressive sex education curriculum.
I have thus alienated myself from the convention of associating a cultural, national identity to my name. I do not feel like a citizen of said country, but rather, a denizen of the world. I realize my situation is rare and privileged, but I am not insensitive to the many problems revolving national identity around the world.
The trouble is that recent years have invigorated the mayor's brand of hyperbole politics. It pays out in spades for those willing to join the bandwagon and echo the "us versus them" chorus. Its cronies transcend party lines; its victims and resisters fade quickly from memory ("not a leader", anyone?). It is the Ford Nation creed. A new, normalized nastiness has imbued the body politic, harshly demarking who is "one of us" and who is to be cast aside. Its candidates bob in the fickle surf of prejudice or fashionable platitudes, instead of wading into their own vision or fair-minded convictions.
Hopewell Rocks, those beautiful natural structures, change from islands to massive rocks when the tide goes out. To be honest, though, the real beauty of the east coast is the people. While traveling solo there a few years ago, I don't think I had a single meal alone, I was invited to join people every time. Amazing people.
I've even taken to exclusively wearing my Blue Jays hat on tour. Sadly, when people see it they connect it with one person: Rob Ford. Since Mayor Ford has been stripped of virtually all of his power, I thought he may have some time to listen to a fraction of the great music that I think defines Toronto.
In my life as a community blogger I occasionally get emails and messages from those curious about where I live. Sometimes they come from those who have been to northern Alberta, and sometimes they come from people from countries far away, wondering if this is the place they have been looking for to change their fortunes.
There is no arguing that the Roman Catholic Pope is the very portrait of homophobia, and although some would argue that he has a legal right to spread his message of hatred, the question must be asked in Alberta why our government is so willing to fund a school board that supports this hatred, this outright advocation for gay genocide.
So there I am in my last column agonizing over whether Canada should ban that obscene and hateful Internet video called Innocence of Muslims, when it occurs to me that it might be a really good idea to come up with an example of freedom of speech in action. Something easily understandable. Something vivid. Something gutsy.