My First Pride:

So this year I went to Pride for the very first time in Canada’s largest celebration in Toronto. It was a very eye opening experience for me; I don’t think I have ever seen so many gay people in one spot. Let alone so many happy gay people, parents of gay people, children of gay people, grandchildren of gay people… All just celebrating, marching together, and just… living like it was completely normal.

And I guess that’s when it struck me: it is completely normal. I have been raised in a certainly conservative Chinese household, hiding my secrets, my skeletons, much of my identity; but, for the first time, I felt that maybe I should be proud to be who I am; proud to love other men. Maybe I shouldn’t be ashamed, because there are so many others who are the same. Perhaps I may be on that spectrum of normal, which we all hope to fall upon.

One day, I would like to march, hands intertwined with my lover. I would be wearing my red stethoscope and perhaps people would cheer me on as well. Perhaps there would be another kid who saw me – a doctor who was gay and proud, and maybe he would also feel more validated about his identity. I certainly felt that way when I saw so much of the Toronto Police walking in the parade. And it wasn’t just the police, but firemen, bankers, lawyers, vets, nurses, clergymen, paramedics… The list goes on and on.

It was a truly profound moment for me. And although it was 4 hours of standing in a hot sun with not a single familiar face in the crowd, I felt more connected than I have in a long time.

Happy Pride, everyone, and if you have never been, I hope you find the chance to go next year.


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