Sunday, July 4, 2010


Gosh, Sunday was a day for “Queens”!

One Queen- who sat in St. James Church in Downtown Toronto, was attired in pretty robin’s egg blue. The Royal “Betty” sat regally in the first pew with Philip more than an arm’s reach from her right side. Must have been the deep fried beans they ordered from room service the night before. The reason for the space I mean.

Did you see what happened when the church’s “bell choir” started playing? Did you see the same “live” shot on TV that I did?
At first she had her “Royal Eyes” forward but seconds after the bells started to tinkle she looked to her right as if to say-
“Damn it Philip, that reminds me, I wish I had of tinkled one more time before we left the hotel. Now I really have to go!”

Actually, I wonder what happens when Betty “really has to go?” I have never seen pictures of the Royal Limo or Carriage stopped at a gas station with a snap or two of Betty heading for the “ladies” with a key on a huge chain clutched in the “Royal Fist.
However, Betty is just “Queen”. Numero Uno of Canada!
30th Pride Toronto
Most of the Queens in Toronto I saw on Sunday were participants in the 30th Annual Pride Parade or were seen strolling along the streets in the Gay Village on Church Street- just east of Yonge.
It was a hot day with even hotter men!
Thinking back to recent years and other Prides, I don’t think I have ever seen as many people or a Pride Parade so large that stretched along Bloor Street East and south on Yonge back to the Gay Village. It took well over two hours to pass by Tom and me at our viewing location at Charles Street East and Yonge.

It was an exceedingly warm day but we hunkered down near a street post that allowed us some shade- protection from the blazing July Sunshine. Every once in a while a gust of wind came along Charles Street to cool our brows.
We like Pride.
It’s the one day in a long year when we step outside the “heterosexual world” we live in and really bask in the excitement of our “Community”.
It’s the one day in an entire year when we can walk hand in hand down the street in front of thousands of people- no matter their sexual orientation- and nobody blinks an eye or gives us a second look.
I can rest my head on Tom’s shoulder if I care to.
He can put his arm around my neck and sit close while we eat a sausage or have a cold drink in the shade of a huge Maple tree.
I can proudly tell the Reverend Brent Hawkes of the Metropolitan Church that Tom and I have been together 25 years and are “officially” married.
He placed a hand on my left shoulder, smiled and said-
“Congratulations!” His eyes were twinkling, while he looked me straight- pardon the word, into my eyes!
I am not a religious man but it just felt right. It was only a few years back that Reverend Hawkes had to wear a bullet-proof vest while reading bands of a Gay Couple who just wanted to be married in his church.

I had to laugh earlier, when the float carrying “Proud Anglicans” roared past us with loud music pounding out an unrecognizable tune. Proud and Gay in Toronto maybe- but not so much in Orillia.

Unfortunately, for us, these days the Gay Community is an hour’s drive down the highway. We usually make the trip alone. Not one year have we been able to convince any “straight” friends to come with us and celebrate the day. There have always been excuses, yet all year long we usually find ourselves being the only “Gay” couple in attendance. It’s tough sometimes not being able to share with or show friends and family what our “people” are like. They could see just how much fun we have. How non-judgemental we all can be. It’s just a big party that I wish would never end. Every year I have thoughts about moving back to the city to live in or near the “Gaybourhood”. However, they are usually just “thoughts” and nothing comes of them.

Yes, Pride can be a “carnival”. Certain aspects can freak people out- even me.
I don’t especially enjoy seeing “older” men prance about completely naked- except for the Timex strapped to a tanned wrist. I ignore them- but I don’t condemn.
I don’t especially like my arm being brushed by a “nude boob” as a gal squeezes past me in the crowded street- but I smile.
I don’t especially like seeing the “straight” guys stripped to the waist to “show off” while tightly grasping the “little woman’s” hand, just so us “Fags” can tell that they are “totally straight”. I deal with it. I never look then in the eye in case they have a nightmare about some Gay Guy looking at them. All the same, they are welcome like everyone else.

Pride is really a lot of fun. Just look at the picture of me up above, standing there with a bevy of “beauties” in tight, tiny bathing suits that Tom took of me. Is that a picture of a guy having a good time or what? I’m still smiling.
All good things do come to an end.
In the “twinkling of an eye”- as we walked towards Wellesley Subway Station, we unclasped our hands near the entrance- without saying a word to each other- and returned to the “Hetro” world where we live- for the most part, for the next 364 days.

Happy Pride everyone!