Let’s raise the flag to celebrate Canada’s birthday and have a gay old time this year in honour of how far our country has come in terms of diversity.
Usually in this post I talk about how old Canada is and how our soldiers are serving Queen and country with honour (yes we do have a different kind of queen as the head of state, not like the queens I saw yesterday.) 🙂 It’s the patriotic thing to do. However yesterday as I watched the Pride parade which is in its 33rd year in Toronto, I realized how lucky we are to live in this country.
The Pride parade was a slice of our lives because every race, religious and non-religious group, and every colour of the rainbow was represented in the parade. 1st Nations Canadians were out waving the rainbow flag as well as gay members of the Catholic (I hope the Pope doesn’t excommunicate them) :), Anglican, Jewish and every other religion and those with no religious affiliation. PFLAG, school boards and groups across the entire social and political spectrum marched side by side. People from countries as far away as Africa were marching next to local policemen who were holding hands with their same sex partners, as well as our Premier who was marching proudly as the only openly gay Premier in this country
The Province of Ontario where I live has a long and proud history on gay rights. We were first in Canada, even before our Federal government, to approve same sex marriage in 2003. It took the feds two more years before they approved that gays had the same right as straights to marry the person they loved. Our neighbours to the south are just getting started, with a number of states recognizing marriage equality, and DOMA and Prop 8 biting the dust last week when the US Supreme Court struck down both. I hope that in the next decade the US will follow Canada’s example and that of many other countries, and that all states will give their GBLTQ citizens the right to marry their same sex partners.
Canada is a wonderful diverse country and I couldn’t be prouder to be Canadian than when I watched the Pride parade yesterday and saw every segment of the country represented on the streets of Toronto. My city is not a utopia – it has its share of hate crimes – but it is the most multicultural city in the world and it’s way better than many other cities of its size and complexity, every day it’s getting better under the rainbow.
People from all over the world helped us celebrate yesterday in one of the largest Pride parades in North America – at last count it was over 1 million strong, and in 2014 Toronto will host World Pride.
Happy birthday Canada. We’re known for being understated but today let’s show our pride in being Canadian. The Friday Guys and I salute you Canada.
Now lets rock those BBQs today and set this country ablaze with fireworks tonight.
What are you going to do today Canada?