Shouting Out

I have a long-distance relationship with sports. Six degrees of separation doesn’t cover it. Try ten.

No surprise then, that I had no idea who any of these guys are…

I only know now because this has been the summer of the great reveal.

Carl Nassib, Las Vegas Raiders, kicked off the trend in June. Followed by Luke Prokop, Nashville Predators, in July. Joined by Bryan Ruby, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, on September 2.

Football, hockey, baseball, the trifecta of sports. All we need now is basketball to make it a grand slam.

News flash: Gay men aren’t a homogeneous stereotype. They’re individuals. You know, like everyone else.

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#Olympic Misogyny

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

I had no idea.

To be fair, I don’t watch sports. I didn’t know, or care, what athletes wore on the Olympic stage—until now.

Until I found out that athletes don’t have any choice in what they wear. That the rules governing female competition uniforms have little to do with the sport in question and a lot to do with boosting ratings.

Notice anything about the above picture?

Yeah.

I remember a time when women burnt their bras and eschewed make-up. When my friends and I braved frostbite in miniskirts one day and swept the floor in maxi-dresses the next. When women marched for the right to choose—everything.

How is it possible that fifty years later we’re still fighting the same fight?

Shout out to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team

and the German gymnastics team

For saying ENOUGH. FOCUS ON THE SPORT, NOT MY ASS.

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#Cariño

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Summertime:

Beaches and bathing suits, shorts and sandals, ice cream and—young love.

Love doesn’t get much younger than that first crush. The one that had you reeling from a smile, hugging your pillow and wishing…

If, like me, you can barely remember that roller coaster ride of feelings, Cariño is here to remind us.

Created by Carlos Taborda, Ashley Williams, and Roshel Amuru as a thesis project, Cariño is an animated, short film about a boy with a crush.

Enjoy.

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Pride 2021

Even with the parades on hold again this year, there is still Pride.

Even with injustice and prejudice still more common than we would like, June is a time to celebrate achievements accomplished and gains made.

The TCDSB, the largest publicly-funded Catholic school district in the world, voted to proclaim Pride Month every June starting this year, 2021. The rainbow flag flying at all 196 schools.

Featured on the July cover of Elle Canada, Priyanka will be the first drag queen to have a standalone cover in any of the magazine’s 45 editions around the world.

Hopefully, with toys like Lego’s Everyone Is Awesome…

And books like Daniel Haach’s Prince & Knight...

this generation of youngsters will learn to embrace the world in all its colours.

Prince & Knight

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Feet Of Clay

Statues of the men who brought us the national shame that was the residential school system are being defaced, toppled, and removed.

An emotional catharsis generations in the making, symbolism that echoes in our hearts, but we need more than symbols. More than apologies.

It comes as no great surprise that back in the 1870s, when the residential school system was instituted, it was depressingly common to think that anyone who didn’t look, speak, or pray like you didn’t deserve to be treated as human.

The question that haunts me though, the truth that makes me cringe, is how did we allow this persecution of children, this destruction of family and culture to continue for so long?

The last residential school closed in 1996.

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A Covid Barbie?

Barbie’s been around forever. Constantly changing, ever evolving, and still sitting right there on the shelf in your local toy store.

From 1959

To 2020

For 2021, there’s a new release of our favourite doll, but don’t bother hitting up Amazon. You won’t find it there.

The creative mind of Gunnar Montana—not Mattel—brings you…

@gunnarmontana

With the help of some friends, the Philadelphia-based dancer and performance artist, built a seven-foot-tall Barbie box, selected the accessories to go inside it, and turned himself into the life-sized doll.

The latest in a variety of projects designed to keep the artist active during the endless restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19, Super Gay Barbie pokes fun at gender norms with humour and style.

You can find Gunnar Montana and his art on Instagram and at Facebook.

Super Gay Barbie will not be coming to a store near you anytime soon.

Aimer at Amazon

A Covid Wedding: Canadian Style

jpandco.ca

Like many other couples during this past summer, Keith and Chris had to make a few changes to their wedding plans. First up, whittling down the guest list. At the time, Covid restrictions in British Columbia limited outdoor gatherings to 50 people or less.

The outdoor part was easy, the men having always planned on having their service in Keith’s parents’ backyard.

Scaling down the guest list from a cozy 105 to a painful 45? Not so easy.

Because the invitations had already gone out, Keith and Chris had to make a lot of tough phone calls. Tell people they cared about that they couldn’t come to their wedding.

When Covid concerns had their catering service bowing out, a determined Keith and Chris rolled up their sleeves and prepared all the food for the wedding party.

Amid all the Covid-dictated changes, some things remained the same. The couple didn’t have to go looking for another ringbearer…

jpandco.ca

Their Bernese Mountain Dog, Gus had no problem walking down the aisle with them.

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Is God Wrong?

Who’s to say? Don’t we all see God in our own way, or through the filter of our parents’ voices? What God—if he/she exists—thinks, is and always has been, a mystery.

We though, with all our human failings, are often wrong.

Even those of us who try to get it right. Even those of us who believe they hold God’s playbook in their hands, who think they know God’s mind.

Redeemer University, a private Christian university in Hamilton, Ontario, is an institution that believes it has the inside track on interpreting God’s intentions. Believes it with a conviction that promises disciplinary action against any student engaging in sexual activity outside a heterosexual marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005.

Do you see the problem here?

Redeemer is facing criticism from former students who take issue with the school’s edicts. LGBTQ students who walked the campus in guilt and fear. Questioning students who view the school’s policy as discriminatory.

Susan Ursel, a Toronto lawyer who represented the Canadian Bar Association against Trinity Western University on a similar issue, says Redeemer is discriminating against not only LGBTQ students, but any student who chooses to remain single.

Susan Ursel

“In a decent, multicultural, diverse society are there limits to what religion can do?” That, says Ursel, is the question before our courts today.

Is God wrong? Maybe not, but religions and religious institutions are another matter.

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Human Rights

A simple phrase, the meaning fairly jumps out at you. No explanation necessary—or not.

In recent weeks, former employees have gone public with allegations of racism and homophobia levelled against the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The museum’s mandate claims it is “centred around the idea that respect and understanding of human rights can serve as a positive force for change in the world.”

Understanding implies knowledge, and for two years from 2015 to 2017, the museum adopted a don’t ask, don’t tell policy when conducting certain tours. At the behest of some schools, the museum staff was told to excise specific exhibits from their guided tours.

I’d give you two guesses as to what those exhibits were, but you only need one—LGBTQ content.

Staff members were asked to steer the students away from any displays that mentioned diverse sexual orientation or gender identity. They were told to stand in front of a same-sex marriage exhibit blocking it from the students’ view.

That this conspiracy of silence was even considered, much less condoned for over two years at a museum purporting to encourage dialogue about human rights—all human rights—is disheartening. One more example of how far we still have to go as human beings.

Note: The CEO has resigned and the museum has issued an apology. They no longer adapt any of their education programs at the request of schools.

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