Comforting Words: Gayly Proud

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Gayly Proud

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAlthough I have been in a same-sex relationship for over 15 years now and we have always sought opportunities for community, organizing and/or attending Pride events was not something that I contemplated for two reasons:

• The thought of having such an open celebration of the history of LGBTQ people would mean certain death or maiming in Jamaica, the land of my birth.
• The images that seem to catch the attention of the media from Pride Parades around the world repulsed me.

That changed, however, last year when I participated in two Pride Parades. The first was here in Edmonton and the second in Vancouver, British Columbia. Though the Edmonton Parade was of less grandeur and size than Vancouver’s I found it an enlightening experience, so much so that not only will I be participating in the Edmonton Parade again this year but most of the planned events.

Certainly there was some ‘flesh’ on display, ‘drag queens’ and some exhibitionists both in Edmonton and Vancouver but what struck me more was the energy of the people standing on the sidelines waving and cheering.

I came away from both Parades with a greater appreciation for those who chose to don their costumes and ‘flaunt’ the beauty of humanity – in all its sexually diversity. By being there, I understood that this was more than a chance to ‘moon’ society but the communities revealing its spirit of creativity.

As I walked along the route in Edmonton and stood among the crowds in Vancouver, no one seemed to care about skin colour, economic status or social standing. At the heart of the parades was a celebration of being – in all of God’s glory and in community.

My earlier concerns were set aside as I roamed and mingled with the gay and straight people who were felt free to be there, having no fear of being beaten for simply cheering on the revelers. The ‘rightness’ of the parades became clear to me as a statement to the larger society, and in fact the world, that The Creator loves diversity that’s why S/He made us so. Variety (diversity) is not simply the spice of life, it is the essence.

Now my prayer is that one day my LGBTQ friends across the Caribbean can as proudly celebrate their lives and share the history of this community with their fellow citizens. Until such time, I will march in Pride Parades every chance I get on their behalf, as my part in the education of those who would exclude any part of God’s creation from full participation in the kin-dom.

Will I display my own brand of beauty in a tight fitting gown? Maybe not this year.

Learn more about Gay Pride Events and for a listing of Pride Events in your area, visit:
Western Australia

Should you ever think that my stories and concern for my brothers and sisters in the Caribbean are simply that - stories - read:


Thanks for your continued support and many



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