What most resonated for me was feeling this man’s intense love for his son, and witnessing him express that love so whole-heartedly in public.
For many if not most straight people, we queer folk are a total mystery very foreign to their felt experience of life and love and sex. Those who know us personally are forced to somehow “understand” us. This doctor uses his [very limited] scientific lens in that attempt to make sense of his intense love in the face of the stigma that still surrounds sexual minorities. I appreciate his core message: his son, hence gay men, hence queer people are not merely tolerable or acceptable. We are essential threads in the fabric of human society. We make the family, the culture, and the world a better place.
It’s to his loving affirmation of us that I say a big YES!
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”
Was it just me, or did others hear that line draw some of the loudest cheers?
It’s been 40 years since I completed my tour of duty as an U.S. Air Force pilot in Vietnam, and finally began being able to live an open life, after 5 years of secrecy, isolation and loneliness.
So I celebrate today with all Americans that today our country is one step closer to living up to its founding values of
“liberty and justice for all.”
“Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come…we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
John Gilbert “Jack” Layton
July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011
” There’s no solution other than a true understanding of consciousness—and a longing and desire for personal transformation. I don’t think there’s such a thing as social transformation. If a critical mass of people are going through personal transformation, that will automatically heal the environment, heal the rifts in our collective soul, heal disease, get rid of poverty, cure AIDS and malaria. Mosquito nets and drugs won’t do that. That’s because consciousness is the ground of being that simultaneously differentiates things into perception, what we see out there, and differentiates into cognition, our knowingness, in our moods and emotions, our personal relationships, our social interactions, in the environments that we create around us, and in the way we interact with the forces of nature.
We shouldn’t be calling something the environment. That’s a total misperception because that says there’s a biological organism, and then there’s an environment. But the biological organism and the environment are two reflections of the same thing: consciousness. Those trees aren’t trees; they are your lungs. If they don’t breathe, you won’t breathe and if you don’t breathe, they won’t breathe. The rivers and waters aren’t just rivers and waters; that’s your circulation. If they are polluted, so are you. And if you are polluted, so are they [laughs]. The air is not just the atmosphere; it’s your breath. The earth is not just the ground over there; it’s your physical body. Because you and the earth recycle [one another] all the time. So unless you have an emotional and spiritual relationship with your extended body, which you call the environment—the totally wrong word—there’s not going to be any healing. And for that shift in perception, you have to have a shift in consciousness.
” Thinking mind and body is dualistic. There’s no such thing as a mind-body connection—they are the same thing. There’s no such thing as a biological organism and the environment—they are the samething. In fact, there’s no such thing as me and you. The whole idea that you exist as a person is a total misperception of reality…
“There’s no such thing as a person, you know. Personal identity is provisional, impermanent and constantly transforming. It is totally transient. Just to even have the idea that I exist as a person allows me to then see other people as persons. And that, of course, is the beginning of all the problems.
” Personal identity is transient, impermanent and provisional. I mean, I’m not the same person I was five years ago—physically, emotionally, intellectually. Nor, hopefully, do I have the same personality.”
The clouds parted just as the Dykes on Bikes roared down Robson!
Even after nearly 40 years of Pride Parades, I still get choked up at the site of all of us out strutting our stuff, celebrating the diversity of our sex/love lives.
- Large contingents of the Vancouver Police and Fire Department being out and proud in their uniforms and vehicles: a dramatic contrast from the SF parades in the early 70s, when the SF police would grudgingly guard the parade route, barely concealing their animosity. Now a new generation of law enforcement folks are happily marching with us in solidarity.
- The same with our national icon, the RCMP, in their traditional red surge.
- All the float affirming human rights in many forms.
- Realizing most of the people marching had not yet been born when I experienced my first Pride in SF in 1972.