Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2005
I think we can all agree that it is a blessing that humans do not come with some sort of LCD screen above our heads that flash our thoughts. Some things are better left unknowable.
As we walked behind this drag queen on our way to our float in Montreal's gay pride parade on Monday night the following thoughts went through my mind:
Tuesday night when I got home I was just bubbling over with Pride stories. I began by telling the spousal unit how well the daughter had handled herself, how she had jumped into a fair bit of chaos and helped to bring order to it.
After I told him some funny stories about the mob of us carpentry-impaired souls trying to muddle through building the float, I turned to the spousal unit and said, "Know what we really needed there?"
He was beaming. He expectantly waited for me to acknowledge his 25 years in the building trades with something such as, "Honey, we needed a great big carpentry stud like you."
What did I actually say?
"Lesbians. We really could have used some lesbians. They would have known what to do." He started to laugh so hard I worried about us staying on the road.
Gotta love those stereotypes, eh?
Later that night when he saw the picture of the daughter with the skillsaw I could see the spousal unit was quite verklempt. Daddy's little girl building things. I'm going to print him a wallet size of that one.
Verklempt quickly turned to accusatory. "See, I told you we should have bought her that set," he said. See, about a week ago our local hardware store had this tool set on sale—a power saw, reciprocating saw, reversible drill and a few other things I can't recall that all ran on the same rechargeable batteries.
The daughter's birthday is coming up. The spousal unit was all gung ho to give her this whiz bang carpentry set. He is now seriously snitting because I put the kybosh on the gift, expressing misgivings about whether or not she'd use something like that.
The daughter's brief adventure in float building has left the spousal unit firmly convinced that it was one of Our Biggest Mistakes EVAH to not buy her this whiz bang carpentry set.
I am going to hear whining about this for weeks and weeks.
One of the big drags about being in the Pride parade is that you don't actually get to see much beyond the floats around you.
Ahead of us were employees of Canada's national airline, Air Canada, wearing hilarious little inflatable airplanes:
And I saw a people occasionally wander by dressed up in a fruit motif, but I didn't get to see the finished float:
As I sit here at my keyboard in a small log cabin in the middle of the woods, the glam and noise of Pride seems very far off. When I went to my gym in a small Vermont town this morning to work out, one of my friends there remarked that I had the odd bit of sparkly stuff on my skin.
Glitter. Two days and three showers after Pride and I still had glitter. So I mentioned that I had been at Pride in Montreal and she recoiled ever so slightly. "I didn't know you were gay."
"I'm not. The place where my daughter works put in a float and we volunteered to work on it and ride on it."
"Is your daughter gay?"
"Your daughter works in entertainment?"
"Uh, no, she works in a bank."
There was a pause. Clearly the thought that straight people with no visible connections to the gay community, and that an organization as staid as a bank would support gay pride was knocking her world just a bit off its axis.
"Then why would you be with those people?"
And really, how do you answer that? So I tried to tell her that I think discrimination against gays and lesbians is exactly the same as discriminating against someone for the colour of their skin. We don't choose our sexuality, I said, we're born with it, just as we're born with our skin colour.
I said our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees gays and lesbians absolute equality and as naïve as this probably sounds, I think it's important that ordinary people like me say out loud any way they can that they strongly believe in this. I added that I was delighted that they'd just won the right to marry in Canada.
Yep, I dropped the same sex marriage bomb. In for a penny, in for a pound.
There was another pause and I could see that she was probably in the camp that believes that people do choose their sexuality, that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" and if people would just make a little effort then they could just Get Over That Gay Foolishness.
I could also see that she was quickly reassessing me and it probably wasn't going in my favour.
We were at that odd moment in the conversation where things could tip either way, where it could degenerate into a nasty little argument or we could try to be civil. I knew there was no way I could change her attitude about this and there was no way she was going to change mine. So I switched the topic to her missing cat and we both pretended that nothing had happened at all.
But of course, it had.
Yep, I think we can all agree that it is a blessing that humans do not come with some sort of LCD screen above our heads that flash our thoughts. Some things are better left unknowable.
Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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