It’s Pride Week in Vancouver which means the downtown core is bustling with pretty, pretty boys (*sigh* – presh!). To kick off this fabulous annual event, Vancouver unveiled a permanent rainbow crosswalk in Davie Street Village. What makes this crosswalk so special is that it’s not just a first for Vancouver, it’s a first for Canada!
I’m a self-professed Fag-Hag and I must admit that I take it for granted that everyone loves the gays as much as I do. Tonight during the commute home my bus buddy and I were discussing Pride Week when she admitted to me that not too long ago she was a huge homophobe and was absolutely terrified (her word, not mine) of gay men.
When I say “terrified”, I’m not exaggerating. Her fear was so extreme that when a relative invited his gay best friend to her house, she had to mentally prepare herself. While in her home he drank a glass of water and as soon as he left she scrubbed the glass thoroughly. The glass didn’t seem clean enough so she then washed it with bleach. She still didn’t feel comfortable so she had to throw the glass out.
Much like me, I’m sure you’re wondering what was the turning point for her. Well, she works in the healthcare field and it just so happens that one of her patients was a gracious, lovely man who was personable, funny, and, oh yeah, gay. He immediately noticed her discomfort with him and went to great lengths to put her at ease. He promised her that by his final visit she’d feel comfortable enough to give him a hug.
One day a light bulb went off and she was able to finally understand that being gay is not a choice. This realization opened the door enough for her to begin letting go of her fears, and by the patient’s next visit she was running up to him asking if she could give him a hug. He noted that this was not his last appointment, to which she replied that she didn’t care, she just wanted to hug him.
In honour of Pride Week, and my bus buddy, I encourage all of you to hug a gay person, go for a walk with a lesbian, grab a cup of coffee with a transgender person, share a laugh with someone who’s bisexual, give a smile to a person who’s questioning – ultimately it really doesn’t matter what you do, just CELEBRATE PRIDE!
Whatever you do, just remember to be kind, be safe, and hydrate.
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