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July 1, 2013 / Andee Frizzell

I Am Canadian

straightnotYesterday, I found myself basking in the sun, holding two draft beers in solo red cups, in and amongst a dance circle consisting of a few thousand people busting a groove to the DJ’s latest remix of ‘I will Survive.’


A gentle breeze blew across the Ryerson Collage Quad carrying on it the sweet smell of tropical sunscreen, the scent of a few thousand dancers and a few handfuls of glitter. Rainbow flags flapped, fists pumped out the beats to the choruses and the dancers on stage progressively got less and less clothed. The campus was a sea of smiling, gleeful faces, sweaty bare-chested men and woman embracing friends and strangers alike. The mood was joyous and celebratory.

In a moment of complete bliss and contentment, I gazed around my immediate circle of friends. With their arms linked, their cranberry vodka’s spilling on everyone’s open toed sandals, Peter flipping open that silly plastic fan and doing ‘gaysha’ dance moves, Iman blowing kisses and bubbles, Mina, Adar, Farhang, Han, Terry, Michael each taking turns in the circle’s centre to show off elaborately choreographed dance numbers, I was overcome with Pride.

My pride in being a Canadian. As I watched my friends dance, flirt, be outrageously silly and uninhibited, I realized that many of them come from cultures that do not tolerate being different in any way. Many people, swaying to the hits, in this crowd come from countries where being gay is punishable by DEATH.
Here in my Canada, streets closed for celebrations, universities volunteered their campuses for outdoor parties, rainbow flags flew from every power pole, window and balcony and 1 million people (straight and gay) lined Yonge St to watch the parade and to celebrate the right to just be.
When people hear about how much travelling I have done they often ask me what place I like the best. I answer honestly, I have loved many things about every place I’ve been but there is no place like home.
Today is Canada’s birthday!

I raise my beer and salute you! Happy Birthday Canada!

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