Gay Globe Magazine asked me to define in one page the meaning of Gay Pride in Quebec, Canada and around the world, and I accepted this challenge because it was a big one.
First of all, there are as many Gay Prides in the world as there are individuals since in my opinion, it is each LGBT member, their families, their friends and allies who celebrate Pride in their own way and for their own reasons. LGBT.
For me, it was having been able, from the end of my adolescence, to openly live my loves, my favorites and my artistic tastes without anyone judging me, except one, my mother. All these years later, my mom still doesn’t accept who I am, even if it doesn’t concern her at all, even if it doesn’t change her life and her relationships. She doesn’t accept my homosexuality out of selfishness, because she has preconceptions and is ashamed to say that she has a gay son. But what does it change? I celebrate my pride because I am fully fulfilled despite the judgment of my creator. And I don’t care. You see, everyone has their own pride that they can celebrate or not.
In Quebec in general, LGBT Pride celebrations are to underline our nation’s avant-garde approach on the issue of sexual orientation. With laws far ahead of their time, Quebec has set an example against the rest of Canada, against our American neighbors and has shown Europeans that we could exist perfectly, in the heart of an English-speaking continent far from being at the same point.
While writing this text, I had a video conference with an Ivorian, a student in Europe, who explained to me the meaning of Gay Pride in one of the most intolerant countries on LGBT rights in the world and where we still condemn in jail; two men who love each other. Speaking for several homosexuals in his region of the African continent, he explained to me that while most displays of LGBT pride were banned and often led to violent counter-demonstrations, participating in Facebook groups, Twitter, being subscribed to gay media allowed these LGBT people to always know what is being done well elsewhere, and to make egalitarian decisions without having to expose themselves openly. Wilfrid is very proud of that.
My search for definitions for Gay Pride has led to discoveries that I had never imagined before. For example, in some Asian countries, Gay Pride is an opportunity for a whole population to change roles and allow straight men to spend a day living like their gay friends, sharing their emotions. For more gregarious peoples, like in New Guinea, this is an opportunity to celebrate love of whatever kind without restraint.
Either way, LGBT Pride celebrations are always synonymous with liberation and fulfillment. Some people cry every year during their Pride Parade because they look around and say to themselves, « Today I am 100% with mine. » Men and women!