Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Proud.

Monthly Curtain Call
Something I Saw


When I was 13 years old, my mom told me that she was gay. My parents had divorced a couple of years prior and Mom and I were going through a lot of changes together. The biggest changes of all though were attributed to the fact that I was 13 and my world was changing. 

I stole my poor mom's thunder that day when we had an arbitrary fight between teenager and mom and Mom said, "you don't know everything about me, you know" and I retorted, "What? You're gay?" And stormed off to my room leaving my mom's mouth hanging open. 

We laugh about it now, and even then, my world wasn't shattered because my mom was gay, it was because she wasn't letting me do whatever it was I wanted to do.

What I didn't know then (and probably neither did Mom), was what growing up being an ally to the most important woman in my life would mean. 

And it was a struggle for the first years. We lived in a small town, I had struggled in that town a lot with my reputation to begin with, I wasn't athletic and didn't fit in with the cool girls. But I had great friends. Some of which are still great friends today. One of which moved all the way to the west coast to live in our basement suite. So we told a select few and let the rest of the world think what they wanted to think. It was a big moment for me at my high school graduation, when I knew I was getting the hell out of dodge, for my mom to wear a tux and bring her lesbian partner at the time to the ceremony. Nobody pointed, or stared, or even asked (well maybe they did, but I didn't care enough to notice) and then it was just out there. No more whispers and rumours in high school hallways. No going back.

The amazing thing about being the child of a gay parent, especially then, especially when that parent came out late in life, is that you come out too. And you keep coming out, to new friends, co workers and eventually the new family of your partner.

I saw this yesterday: 

And immediately joined the community. The resources that exist now that weren't even a glimmer then for gay families fill me with so much pride and hope.

When I was 18, I was lucky enough to meet two amazing little girls that had to go through it all yet. And I stood by them, we marched in parades, we went to family drag shows. We banded together and when the three of us put on pretty dresses and makeup we joked that 'gay skips a generation'. I remember having a conversation with an old boyfriend about how the youngest would have no father figure to scare of future boyfriends. And then he met Kell, who crawled out from under her pickup truck covered in grease and gave him the firmest handshake he's ever had and he took it all back.

And those two girls, they are in healthy happy heterosexual relationships. So am I. We weren't ruined.

So last year shortly after moving here, when Rob and I went to the Pride Parade as allies, alone, I felt very lost without my big gay family. Rob was lost in general, having never participating in Pride before. Not homophobic in any way, but his world was blown wide open :)

This year, my mom is here, and I am starting to find a big gay Victoria family of my own. I ASM'd the big Drag Show kick off to Pride, Cabergay, and while joking about never ever wanting to Stage Manage drag queens... Stage Managing is what I do and what I can give back, and it felt good to give back. 

But the most amazing Pride I've ever had was taking Mom to Vancouver this year for the their enormous Pride Parade in the Davie Street Village. We met my boys Niko and Adam and in all of my years at Pride, I felt like the Proudest Gay Ally that I've ever been.

Here are some moments from that:

My mom in the village where they were painting the boulevard in chalk rainbows.


Across the street from us were pranksters with water guns spraying the parade as it went by (they sprayed a drill sergeant police officer on his motorbike and got a stern talking to), most of the parade people were prepared and sprayed back. The best though was when the Vancouver FD stopped their truck, screwed on their hose and sprayed them down, creating real rainbows in the street!

BC Ambulance represent.

The best part of the whole parade for me, were the rainbow epaulets on the BCAS shoulders. Rob should be so proud to work for and be leadership in such a foreword thinking EMS community.
This brought tears to my eyes.


Orange Crush

So pretty.

This one is for Anne and Shauna, BC Corrections Officers! Loud and Proud!


My other favourite Pride Float, and also for Anne...

It's a Vancouver curling club!

Niko and Adam's landlord was festive.

Adam surprised us with a Pride candy apple from Rocky Mountain House.

We got to walk across Vancouver's new permanent rainbow crosswalks!




The festival goers.


And my absolutely favourite part of Vancouver, all dressed up for Pride.
I seriously visit these guys every time I can, they make me so unbelievably happy.
Which is actually sort of their purpose.

So you can imagine my squeal of delight when I saw them in their rainbows!
They were protected by a fence this time though, too much traffic with Pride and the International Fireworks competition, so I couldn't run up and give them a hug.

I'll give them an extra big squeeze next time. To thank them, for being so supportive.

2 comments:

  1. Love it!!! These pictures make our pride kinda look like a joke... But it's saskatchewan. So... We have some catching up to do. Heh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anne! It was 3 hours long!!!

    ReplyDelete