Alex and I at pride, 2000.
As I write this, gay pride in Toronto has just ended. I hope everyone had a great time and will hold on to these memories for a long time. My first pride was in 2000. I was still in the closet and living with my new boyfriend. We just moved in together after 6 months of dating. The pride parade was going on and I also had a baseball game to go to with my mother, brother and grandmother Sanders (who we lost two years later). I was torn. I wanted to go to the parade and be with Alex but at the same time I wanted to be with my family.
For those who do not know Toronto, the gay village is centered in the Church and Wellesley street area. Alex and I lived in the center of this area. During pride they close the streets and have lots of activities such as choir groups, beer tents, along with some stages for live music and some theater. There are drag queens, bull dykes, leather daddies, twinks, bears, and all the other colors of the rainbow as far as people around.
It was at pride that I decided to finally tell my family and friends about who I really was. I remember coming home from the baseball game. I remember talking to Alex about how I wanted to tell them, how I wanted to be with him rather than my family on that day. I wanted to experience the fullness of pride rather than a simple baseball game. I was so torn. I broke down and cried because of all this. I remember Alex saying, “your time will come when you feel comfortable telling your family. I will be with you and we will go through this together.” A week later, I told my mother.
I have never forgotten that. I am thankful to have him in my life.