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Donald D'Haene

Donald D'Haene lives in London, Ontario, is an author (Father's Touch, fatherstouch.com), and was one of the male Survivors on the Oprah 200 Survivors Episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show

Donald D'Haene is a resident of London, Ontario, an author (Father's Touch, fatherstouch.com), and was one of the male Survivors on the Oprah 200 Survivors Episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, November 2010.

Anything Girls Can Do, I Can Do Better

At 17 I just enjoyed reversing the gender stereotypes of my peers. I was raised in a hierarchal, conservative area (read: small-town Ontario) in the 1960s. I recall a girl sitting behind me in my Gr. 12 business class piping up, "Boys cannot be secretaries!" Personally, I thought, was she for real?
01/09/2013 05:23 EST
AP

Les Miserables Is a Better Name for the Audience

The motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation Les Misérables has been seen by more than 60-million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Yet, mere minutes in, I went oh, oh, something is off. This is overproduced to hell and back.
12/27/2012 12:30 EST
AP

During Christmas, I Think of My Once Homeless Brother

My concern for the homeless is not altruistic. I know what feeds my desire to do something, anything, for fellow human beings who have nothing: guilt, responsibility, memories -- knowing that there but for the grace of God go I. My youngest brother, Erik, has been living off and on the streets for 30 years. My family hasn't seen him in 15 years.
12/24/2012 12:18 EST
Hp

Is Education Enough to Fight AIDS?

World AIDS Day is Saturday. How will you remember and commemorate? Last year alone, 1.7 million people worldwide died as a result of AIDS-related causes. Their deaths must not be in vain. In their memory let us take a more proactive stance in observing this special day this year. End HIV stigma now is a good message. But how? Complacency about AIDS is a major problem and education is still our only vaccine. But sometimes, somewhat surprisingly, even the educated need educating.
12/01/2012 04:24 EST
Zabmag

The Life of Pi Shines Onscreen

I predict another novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel will be studied in a similar way by future generations. The difference is those students will be rewarded with a viewing of the just-released, sensational, epic 3D adaptation of the supposedly "unfilmable" book.
11/27/2012 03:28 EST

The Question We Shouldn't Ask About Rape

Whenever I hear someone state there are options for women when they are being confronted by a potential rapist, a shiver runs down the length of my spine and a knot forms in the pit of my stomach. It's not that I disagree that fighting off would-be rapists is appropriate in some cases. I just don't want to see one more guilt trip dumped on women who have been sexually assaulted and are made to feel that not screaming and/or not fighting is labelled "do(ing) nothing"! Are we still asking "Did she stop it?" instead of "Why did he do it?"
11/19/2012 12:15 EST

How I Met Oprah...Twice

The Oprah Winfrey Show had been working for months on a show specifically for men who were sexually abused as children. That was the first of many off-camera moments that contributed to my two-day surreal visit to land of Harpo. What? Not only was I invited to one episode of her final year, but two!
11/11/2012 12:18 EST

What is the True Measure of a Man?

One of my childhoods was happy. The B&W movies projected on our small TV screen, more often than not, contradicted the drama I was living in my own home movie reels. But there were exceptions. In fact, the images of our television's B&W movies were very real to me. Sidney Poitier was one of those images, and thankfully, he made repeat appearances.
11/03/2012 07:17 EDT
Getty Images

Where Are the Gays Who Stand Up for Gays?

Where are the new generation of Rosie O'Donnells? Gays that are fearless, not parsing words, not playing nice. The Chick-fil-A anti-gay controversy sure got the Rosies of America going but what amazes me is the relative silence concerning the more immediate potential game changer, the Romney/Ryan ticket.
10/25/2012 12:11 EDT

CBC's Reality Show Over the Rainbow

Over The Rainbow is the first reality competition that I have discovered that did not humiliate auditioners, I have been happy to tune in every week from day one. That's right -- no auditioning Dorothy (and there were thousands) found their non-gold card audition televised on television. Imagine!
10/20/2012 02:29 EDT
Getty Images

Why I Started to Vote at 40 Years Old

I am belatedly political -- having voted for the first time after I turned 40 -- most people don't know that about me yet all my life I have constantly heard and continue to hear this line thrown out as though the speaker originated the argument, "If you don't vote you have no right to complain." For the last decade I've certainly more than made up for lost time.
10/17/2012 05:33 EDT
Flickr: michale

On National Coming Out Day, I'm Proud to Be Gay

Because today is National Coming Out Day, I was reminded of my own journey. Almost two decades ago, I came out of that supposed "closet" publicly and purposefully for when I finally figured out I was gay, I wanted to shout it to the world. I eventually found the label "gay" something to be proud of. The gay label is just one small part of the big picture. But take it away and I wouldn't be me.
10/11/2012 03:26 EDT
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What Obama and David Suzuki Have in Common

The presidential debate triggered flashbacks for me to February 8, 1989. Let me explain. That night, decades ago, another battle that then appeared to be of epic importance took place: a televised debate at Western University between psychology professor Philippe Rushton and David Suzuki.
10/08/2012 12:12 EDT
Alamy

No Botox for Me, Thanks

A friend, a generation behind, recently suggested in a matter of fact way, "You should get some Botox injections." "You're kidding," I said. "I can think of a million other things I'd rather do with my money." Come to think of it, most of my younger friends comment on physical appearance, for better or worse, all the time. I'm surprised there isn't a self-help book called Botox Soup for the Soul!
10/01/2012 12:15 EDT
AP

The RNC Needs a Diversity Makeover

The Republican convention's most telling moments happened every time the camera scanned the delegates in Tampa, Florida. Yes, it was a 2012 political convention but it still looked predominantly white from my vantage point. Republicans could take a paint-by-number lesson from Canada's political play book -- primarily from one Preston Manning.
09/11/2012 07:43 EDT
IMDb

If You Couldn't Stand "The Tree of Life," Here's Another Flick to Avoid

Terrance Malick's To The Wonder has just played the Venice Film Festival and is headed our way for the Toronto International Film Festival. It's not that I want to influence people not to see To The Wonder. It's just that time is precious. I watched Malick's The Tree of Life, and that's 140 minutes I'll never get back.
09/05/2012 05:14 EDT
Shutterstock

How to Take Criticism, And Why it Doesn't Always Matter

Criticism is very subjective. My first editor told me, "I don't care for your writing style. Too personal." A decade later that personal style landed me a publisher's contract for my autobiography, Father's Touch. My advice when seeking out critical opinion is not to sell yourself short -- aim high, not low.
09/03/2012 02:33 EDT
Shutterstock

I'm a Feminist Because My Mother Was Abused

My mother's life is why I am the feminist I am. From the moment I saw her crying, holding her just-hit face, looking into my four-year-old eyes in helplessness, I knew she was something and I would dedicate my life to making her believe it. I once spoke at an event in which I touched on my mother's story. Imagine my surprise when I was later informed, by a woman no less, that one man in the audience didn't like my saying that I was a feminist and said that those he was with felt the same way. She hoped it would be food for thought for me.
08/28/2012 12:00 EDT
YouTube

As a Rape Survivor, You Get Used to Stupid Remarks Like Akin's

Todd Akin's ridiculous declaration on the serious crime of rape has created a justifiable uproar. Rape victims everywhere have experienced similar insensitive, nonsensical remarks. Count on it. But no one can top the comments of the man who sexually assaulted me for a period of 11 years.
08/21/2012 01:09 EDT
AP

Canadians are Excited to Vote... in the U.S. Election

A poll by the Canadian polling company Environic and co-sponsored by the CBC found 15 per cent of Canadians would have given up their ballot in Canada's '08 federal election to vote in the U.S. election. I get it. I'm so uninspired by our Canadian political leaders it's not even funny.
08/20/2012 07:52 EDT