We may be a few months out from Vancouver’s much anticipated Pride Weekend, but a quick stroll around my neighbourhood aptly demonstrates that Pride isn’t merely an event that occurs over a weekend in June, it’s a state of mind. Here, love and sexuality transcends economic status, ethnic background, and religion. In a country that boasts tolerance, Vancouver’s West End embraces acceptance. It isn’t merely good enough to allow the existence of another, especially when the message of those being tolerated is to love ones self, and celebrate and support the rights of others. “We join with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence around the world through our universal vows to promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and serve the community, our fellow Sisters and the Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” My favourite group of sisters work towards the common goal of bringing life and light to those living with HIV around the world. The Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence make an appearance at the parade every year, and their hard work and hilarity is something to be celebrated all year round.
“I am a rare species, not a stereotype,” (Ivan E. Cote). Ironically, the pageantry of events like Pride Parades can overshadow the fact that being anything other than heterosexual is perceived as wrong or strange. But lest we forget there are still 78 countries around the world where homosexuality is illegal, and in some, it’s punishable by death!
The LGBT community has lead the charge in humanizing diseases like HIV/AIDS. Humans are not merely statistics, and HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was. Incredible individuals like Brad McIntyre of Positively Positive have dedicated their lives to uplifting those living with HIV. The Vancouver Pride movement has long been strong, loud and rightfully proud for all its accomplishments.
“‘All cultures change, and Aboriginal people would not have survived for so long had they not been adaptive and dynamic,” (Steven Lindsay Ross).
“In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation,” (Simone de Beauvoir).
“Whatever you proclaim as your identity here in the material realm is also your drag. You are not your religion. You are not your skin color. You are not your gender, your politics, your career, or your marital status. Your are none of the superficial things that this world deems important. The real you is the energy force that created the entire universe!” (RuPaul)
“There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are” (Tammy Baldwin).
“Soon the day will come when science will win victory over error, justice a victory over injustice, and human love a victory over human hatred and ignorance” (Magnus Hircshfeld).