It's really come to my attention - as the years go by, just how much Pride has become increasingly important to me. When I was younger, I actively avoided it. I was still deeply in the closet, but I would enviously and secretly stare from afar, at the spectacle, the over-the-top craziness, and the clear display of fun and joy of the people participating.
At that time in my life, I was too afraid to join in, too afraid to speak out about my desire to be a part of history. I was too afraid to acknowledge its importance and its future impact on my life. I suppose thats always often the case for many closeted men and woman.
It's such a huge event now, and I am actively and happily part of it. Although I sometimes still express ambivalence about attending Pride events, I deeply care about what it represents to my life as a gay male. I want to be there, no matter how I feel leading up to the events, and I know many of my friends feel the same.
This year was a particular reason to celebrate. Finally, our American friends saw the light and the Supreme Court granted full rights to marry for same sex couples. It was a huge moment in gay history, and it was deeply felt by everyone at this years Pride 2015 in Toronto.
Despite the victory in the United States, the fight to be recognized as equals, as people, will continue. Around the world, there are many LGBT people who are suffering either in silence or are facing a great deal of hostility, danger and the potential to be killed for simply wanting the right to be themselves. As we celebrated and enjoyed our own personal freedom here in Canada, that was on my mind.
I hope that one day, when we gather together to celebrate Pride, it will be an inclusive celebration for all LGBT people around the world. It will happen.
Pride and perseverance, for all of us.