Dear Alden, The news of your passing has saddened me deeply. Even though you finally succumbed to your battle with ...
June is Pride Month and there are many exciting events where I live in Toronto and other cities around the world to celebrate this most important month. One such event takes place on Sunday, June 18 at Lula Lounge in Toronto, where my composition, diskriminatsiya, will be performed by Christopher Lee and Vincenzo Volpe at the Summer in the City Flute Festival. The timing of this festival taking place during Pride Month is a nice coincidence because it allows a non-specific Pride event to shed light on how the world still has a long way to go in respecting the human rights of LGBTQ communities across the world.
It was not that long ago that I wrote a blog post exploring many of these issues in conjunction with Chris and Vincenzo releasing a video of a live performance of diskriminatsiya. One thing that I still hear from quite ignorant people is that if the LGBTQ community wants to be part of “regular” society and achieve true inclusivity, they shouldn’t have such an event like Pride Month. Often, it will be the same individuals who will say that if there’s a “Black Lives Matter” movement, there should also be a “White Lives Matter” movement. Both of these opinions are heavily steeped in ignorance and lack of understanding. Those who stand by such opinions fail to understand what it’s like to have lived through such marginalization by the rest of society just because of your sexual orientation or the colour of your skin.
I can’t relate either, but it’s so utterly important for anyone on the other side of an issue to respect and stand beside those who are in the minority and to allow a sense of pride that it’s okay to be exactly who you are, and what’s more, celebrate it!
If you want some type of “Straight Month” to celebrate your heterosexuality, in essence, you’re mocking the struggles of the LGBTQ community. And if you think it’s needed because your ability to marry the opposite sex is under attack by a politically-correct society, you need to get your head examined! Can a straight couple honestly admit that someone has ever walked up to them and said, “you shouldn’t be married because you’re straight?”
Let’s face facts, the reason why homophobes don’t like Pride is because most can remember a time when LGBTQ folks lived in the closet. Well I say to them, get used to it! When I walk down the street holding hands with my wife and I see 2 guys or 2 women doing the same, I’m happy that I live within a society where an expression of love to your fellow human being doesn’t have to be hidden. Not to be too cheesy about it, but we could use a lot more love these days – we don’t have room or time for shame for expressing love!
So I’m waving my rainbow flag with all my LGBTQ brothers and sisters this month – it’s the least I can do. It’s the least everyone should do.