Powerful in Red

Red isn’t a colour for the faint of heart. It’s a bold banner, a statement of pride and personality.

Korben White has plenty of both.

Nina Green

Sixteen now, and graduating from Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, Norfolk, Korben has known he wanted to wear a gown to prom since he was twelve.

And this year, he did.

On prom night, Korben stepped out of the car to be greeted with a round of cheers from his classmates and teachers.

To say Korben is fortunate in his family and friends is a massive understatement.

Korben has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encourage him to be himself, to have a mother who believes that “Every child should be given the opportunity to explore who they are, and to find their way with supportive and loving parents.”

If only everyone was so lucky the world would be a happier place.

Aimer at Amazon

Pride: 2022

shutterstock.com

This weekend is all about Pride, and after a Covid-19 imposed hiatus of two years, Toronto’s ready to celebrate.

Last weekend, Disney’s Lightyear opened worldwide…

Almost worldwide.

The animated movie was banned in Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and UAE.

Why?

Because of a same-sex kiss that lasts about as long as a blink.

Oh, the horror. That growing minds should be exposed to the idea that affection and love can exist between two people.

So, yes, let the Pride flags fly this weekend. Let the sun shine, the music blare, and people of every persuasion dance and hug and kiss in the streets.

Let Toronto shout out loud and proud for all people who can’t.

Aimer at Amazon

Conversion Therapy

Shutterstock

Just in time for the holiday season, a gift for all…

Conversion Therapy is Banned.

This past week, an unexpected motion by Conservative MP Rob Moore had the House of Commons erupting into cheers and hugs. The motion to fast-track the Liberal government bill banning conversion therapy, to skip the routine debate and vote, was adopted—unanimously.

Handshakes all around as the Prime Minister crosses the floor to thank the opposition for its support.

With not one squeak of protest, the bill is on its way to approval by the Senate. As Conservative MP for Thornhill, Ontario, Melissa Lantsman says in her tweet…

And some days are a long time coming!

Aimer at Amazon

Dance?

“I don’t know, you think that’s a good idea?” Gary started in on a series of hamstring stretches. “Maybe in the spring, after we get out booster shots.”

“I’m not talking about going to a club.” Kenneth dug a clump of Gelato out of the container. “They have online lessons. No Covid contamination involved.”

“Okay, it’s been a while,” Gary said, switching legs, “but I don’t think we need lessons on how to grope each other to music.”

Kenneth slipped the lid back on the container. “Not that kind of dancing. Real dancing. You know, like the waltz,” he said, popping the Gelato back in the freezer.

“Oh, my God. This is about that TV show.” Gary gave up on his pre-run routine and and waved a hand over his ratty T-shirt and faded sweatpants. “Do I look like Fred Astaire?”

“Who?”

“Shut up.”

Kenneth laughed. He figured the more he teased Gary about the age difference between them, the sooner the man would get over his ridiculous sensitivity. Maybe. He crossed the kitchen, fisted his hand in Gary’s T-shirt. “You look like the man I want to dance with.”

Inspired by: My non-existent dance skill, and Hugh’s Theatre of Memories.

Aimer at Amazon

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.

Aimer at Amazon

#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.

Aimer at Amazon

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

Aimer at Amazon

Late Night

Joel worked late, the desks outside the glass walls of his office empty, the lights on the floor low. He flicked a glance at the corner of his screen…

He read through the report he’d been working on, checked the numbers again, and hit save. His eyes on the outer office door, he leaned back in his chair, stretched his legs out under his desk…

The frosted glass door, the company name and logo etched front and centre, swung open. The lights came up, and a cleaning cart bumped over the threshold.

The orange vest was hideous. You would think, after all these weeks, Joel would be inured to its repellant neon sheen, but no. Too long, too wide, it hung on the man wearing it. Granted, the damn thing was probably one size fits all, and the guy wasn’t big.

Tell-tale white plastic hanging out of his ears, head bopping to music only he could hear, the man pushed the cart to the first desk. Black hair pulled into an undercut ponytail hung past the guy’s shoulders as he grabbed a spray bottle and cloth.

Desk cleaned, computer wiped down, and waste basket emptied, man and cart moved to the next cubicle. After almost two months of watching this man work, Joel had the routine down. The outer office first, desk to desk, cubicle to cubicle. Next, the vacuum cleaner mowed under chairs, and between desks. Joel’s office, the only enclosed space on the floor, was tackled last.

A knock on his open office door, a nod of greeting, and green eyes smiled in at him. Joel never got used to that smile either. He shut his laptop down, grabbed his suit jacket off the back of his chair, and got out of the guy’s way.

Same routine, desk, laptop, wastebasket. The vacuum cleaner whirred and was hooked back into place on the rolling cart. Joel, leaning against a desk in the cubicle outside his office, watched and waited. The earbuds disappeared into the guy’s pocket. The neon vest dropped onto the collection of cleaning supplies.

Hand on his cart, the man turned, tossed a smile at Joel. “Good to go?”

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.

Aimer at Amazon