Here in Toronto, we’re smack in the middle of Pride month. As Rodgers and Hammerstein put it eons ago, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over … with rainbow flags and tourists. The annual Pride Parade, this year in its 37th year, has become the official start to our short-lived summer.
In my local suburban mall, Purdys Chocolatier, a Canadian confectionery retail chain, flies the flag with a display of chocolates wrapped in rainbow ribbons and a sign that reads, “Love is the Answer.” Granted, Purdys is looking to push their product, but the display made me smile anyway … and made me think …
I’m old enough to remember a time before Pride, before words like transgender and homophobia became commonplace. I grew up in a era when the world was presented to the younger generation as a monolith of heterosexuality.
There were no cute books with titles like Sally Has Two Moms. Lexus didn’t run television commercials that featured a man hugging his male partner on his way out the door in the morning. Actually, now that I think about it, Lexus didn’t exist back then and the family car was a station wagon not an SUV.
The complacent fabrication I had unconsciously absorbed, the myth of a solely Adam and Eve world, was obliterated — because of a book. A pink paperback I plucked off a rack in a convenience store.
E. M. Forster’s Maurice broke the world I knew and built a better one. A more interesting, more diverse world. Turns out, I didn’t have to go into outer space with the crew from the star ship Enterprise. There was infinite diversity in infinite combinations to be found right here in my own backyard.
Happy Pride 🙂