picture courtesy of Raymond Helkio
So last week I was walking through the gay village during Pride Week in Toronto with my good friend Mike. We're talking, having a laugh and of course enjoying the 'scenery'. I have to say how incredibly gratifying and awesome it is being in a safe area where you can look without fear. A place where you can be who you are, be among likeminded people and again, be safe, knowing that looking would not be misconstrued as a threat that may cause you bodily harm.
I know that the visuals for Pride, thanks in part to the media, can be misconstrued by the general population as just an excuse for some to shed their clothes or "throw gayness in their face", but it's so much more than that. So much more.
It's about history. It's about recognizing the struggle it took to even reach the point where a million people are gathered to safely celebrate just being alive in a world that really doesn't appreciate you being 'different'. It's about being able to express yourself in a safe environment with other people just like you, the way that you want to, with no shackles, no fear.
If you haven't already noticed, I have made a point to constantly repeat the 'safety' word in this post. The reason is clear: it's extremely important for people to understand why gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexuals need to be able to feel safe and more importantly, loved for who they are. We have one defining moment a year where it can be done in a very public way without fear. So lets celebrate it.