Pride celebrations are different this year, but its spirit is even more relevant and important.
Pride was born out of protest 50 years ago, from communities saying enough was enough.
Activists and allies paved the way so that today, we – at least in our part of the world – can love who we want to love, marry, have families, be ourselves freely.
The past few weeks have seen global protests in support of Black Lives Matter. It has also seen aggressive counter protests.
We are headed towards another boiling point and hopefully positive lasting change and good will prevail from this necessary tension.
The photo above was from our first Pride weekend with T, who had only come into our lives for a month.
We were walking around Church Street after brunch with friends and met up with a friend’s family at a Family Pride event.
Looking at this photo, parenting seemed so much simpler when we could tie T to a stroller and shove a soother in his mouth.
I came out when I was 14 years old in Grade 9. It was both a scary and an exhilarating moment.
It took me three weeks to build up the courage to say the three words, “I am gay” to the first person I told. Then each successive outing became easier. Also, the trick is to tell someone with a big mouth and they’ll help do the job for you.
Looking back, it is so silly that people even have to come out about who they are inside.
But that’s the sad reality, especially in parts of the world where you can be punished or even killed for being gay.
As a teen, I never imagined I’d grow up one day being married and having my own family.
I am able to do so because there were people before me who helped pave the way.
Every year, I work with colleagues to organize a contingent to march in our city’s Pride parade, which is attended by over a million people.
It is both a celebration and a reminder to do our part to keep the fight alive and to never be complacent or take things for granted.
I have yet to take T marching with us. I know he will find the crowds and loud music overwhelming.
But I know he feels proud of and loved by his Papa and Daddy. I love how he reaches to hold both our hands when we walk down the street. I am so grateful for these moments.
And we will continue to teach him to love and respect himself and others and to stand up and speak up for those who are unable to do so yet.
That to me is what Pride is all about. Not just in June but every day of the year.
Happy Pride weekend to you all!