Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Toronto Mayor Ford: High School Football > Gays

Any time I've asked folks in the Toronto Gay Village for opinions on Mayor Ford, people have been very, very verbal in their disdain for the man that vice.com lovingly calls "the Andy Kaufman of Canadian municipal politics."

The sad fact is, Mayor Ford has historically exhibited a serious "ick" factor for "us kind" of people.

At the same time, he's been spending his spare time hanging with high school football players.

It was, in fact, his love of coaching high school football that led to his downfall.

Yes, the running joke in the classic hit sitcom "Married... With Children."

High school football.

Canadian politics were already a big steaming pile of mess -- our conservative national leader hates big cities, the province of Ontario is flat broke because our transfer payments go to support poorer provinces (like, cough, Quebec), and the City of Toronto has historically been duped into taking-on the costs of managing resources that should actually be the responsibility of the province.

The sad fact is, Mayor Ford's ideas to expand the subway system were totally in-line with the gay community's most important need: getting more of us into the city.  Until someone convinces me that gay dating sites can work, the best method of acknowledging another's possible interest and proceeding to interact in a safe and comfortable environment is to head downtown.  For Toronto gays who want to "get out" that usually means the original Gay Village at Church and Wellesley.

 It's tough enough for straight people to find love.  Reduce the chances of finding a match by 50 to 90 percent or so and you can easily learn to appreciate why gay villages exist in the first place.

While downtown dwellers might feel entitled to the fruits of our Village, the truth is the community is much stronger with better access to our "natural resources."  Better subways into the 'burbs would expand our community by opening up the downtown village(s) to more people.

That means more Church St. eye candy... and more boyfriends and girlfriends for our GLBT teammates.

Go, team, go.  Just remember: adults don't play with high schoolers, unless it's their job.

Mayor Ford, coaching high school football wasn't yours.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

What Price, Gay Paradise

Major combat operations appear, at times, to have ended.

It feels like gays have won planetary liberty, at least at a soul-felt level, across the globe.

At the same time, there are far too many tragedies playing out and in many ways the war is in no way anywhere near over.

Even in the few countries with universal human rights -- including, one would hope, sexual privacy as all Canadians since Prime Minister Trudeau have shared -- battles remain fought, many with horrible endings.

GLBT rights are spreading slowly throughout the world.  Even in faraway, unlikely places like Malawi.

Most often the fights that remain are started by foolish warriors.  GLBT battles are rarely, if ever, these days perpetuated by anyone except hyper-straight-acting juiced-up male goons, conservative politicians, or religious fundamentalists (of any faith).

Folks who are concerned about The Rise of the Gays causing their brethren to suddenly turn are themselves deeply confused.  In our modern times, the internet has provided free and easy access to as much gay information, including pictures, stories, and videos, as can literally be imagined (and beyond).  But this just hasn't caused a massive increase in the gay population.  Dick pics aren't just a dime a dozen, they are pretty much completely free (no links necessary).

As much as the freedom of the internet has benefited the GLBT community, our population hasn't exploded because of it.  This alone proves that efforts against the "promotion" of GLBT rights won't prevent gayness in anyone who isn't already.

Perhaps most sinister are the people who accept that homosexuals exist, but instead of accepting gay folks for who they are inside, would prefer to have gays seal their feelings inside and live a conformist's life in a miserable "traditional" marriage, or in religious-style celibacy.

No links are needed to demonstrate that a pile of religious conservatives have themselves been a part of gay scandals, or worse -- and mostly unrelated -- child molestation.  As always, it's important to note that most child molesters are male, and most are straight, but who knows if being closeted and self-hating doesn't work to make some lash-out in the most horrible ways.

Being totally honest with myself and others has certainly made me a happier person overall, but at the same time I have felt obligated to take-on the battles of our community.  Even in the proverbial land of Freedom, the United States of America, battles are fought every day for respect, safety, and basic civil rights.

There will always be hate in the world.  Humanity is chock full of it.  But at the same time, having an out-of-the-closet gay in your family, group of friends, neighbourhood or at workplaces everywhere encourages everyone to carefully consider their outward expressions of hate towards our community.

"Where are you going, out with your boyfriend ?"  Amazing how something as innocuous as this somehow means something so completely derogatory when hetero guys throw it at each other.

It's time for the other side to bottle-up their feelings, for a change.  We're tired of it.

And we're winning.