It was the summer of 1991, a Sunday, and Victoria’s first Pride Day celebration. It was held in a corner of Beacon Hill Park. A picnic of sorts, about 200 of us were there. So many things have changed since then, so many things to be thankful for in Victoria and Canada:
• sexual orientation added to the Human Rights Act.
• HIV antiviral drugs
• hate crime laws
• pro-GLBT sex-ed programs and anti-bullying in schools
• same-sex marriage
• gay and lesbian adoption
• gay men and lesbians openly serving in the Canadian Forces.
I’m thankful to all the caring people, the doctors who treated HIV in the early years when others would not and those behind the scenes who lent an ear, a hand up and those special words, “It’s OK to be gay;” businesses that donated time and funds to help our community over the years; GLBT bars for giving us a safe space to “be” and straight bars for welcoming “me.”
I am so thankful to all the people who made Pride possible year after year, especially Mr. Terry Froud. Terry helped with the first Pride and with every Pride since.