This weekend is a double whammie if you live in Toronto (which I do). July 1 is Canada Day, where we celebrate what it is to be a Canadian and to live in this wonderful country. It is also Gay Pride Weekend, which is estimated to bring 1.2 million people to the city over the course of the event – one of the biggest such events in the entire world. I love the fact that they both fall on the same weekend and because really, so many things about what it means to be a Canadian are the very same things which allow our GLBT… community to fly the rainbow flag in every corner of this city and this country.
I am intensely proud to be raising my children in a country where they will be allowed to not only love whomever they chose, but also to marry them, have children with them, and have a happy, secure, joy-filled life. I have always had faith that when it really matters, when it comes to basic human rights and dignity, my country will not let me down. Sure, we have a long way to go in many respects but we are, if nothing else, folks with a whole lot of common sense. Probably comes from living in a country that is snot freezingly cold for so many months of the year and a lack of common sense would have left our ancestors dead in a snow bank somewhere. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to talk about everybody being equal and then not doing something about it. That would be very un-Canadian.
I remember when my kids were younger, maybe 2 and 5, some of us ladies were sipping some wine and somebody asked “So, do any of you think that your kids might be gay?” We had all given it some thought and we all had our answers, but I loved the idea that it was a question that we could even be addressed in casual conversation, like any other parenting topic that we discuss. I know that my kids will have love and support no matter who they spend their lives with, just the same as I expect them to show the same love and support to any of their friends who take a different path. My younger son’s best friend has two mothers, who love him fiercely and my son spends a LOT of time over at their house. He sees that their family is different from ours, but he compares it to the way his other friends who live with only one parent are different. Not good or bad, just different. I can’t resist giving myself and my partner a little pat on the back that we have raised children who is are unquestioningly accepting.
So, Happy Pride everybody. Keep up the good fight and I’m sure that Canada will come through for you. In the meantime, I will raise my kids to be proud of their country and to love unconditionally.