A colourful crescendo

Published 29, Jun, 2012
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

CBC Q Host Jian Ghomeshi, live on radio today, said some stirring things about LGBT achievements over the past year, about Pride Toronto and the fact that, remarkably, the big parade coincides this year with Canada Day. Jian, also remarkably, is straight.

A colourful crescendo

The following was transcribed from the taped broadcast on the CBC Q web site.  You can hear the broadcast by clicking on the June 28 show here

The CBC is Canada's publicly funded broadcaster. Q is the daily morning arts, culture and entertainment talk show hosted by Jian Ghomeshi.

This is how Jian opened today's show.

Opening music . . .

Jian Ghomeshi: Well, hi there.

Happy Friday.  And it’s high time for Pride, in Toronto that is.

There are many celebrations and events in the LGBT communities of the world at different points in the calendar, but this week, it is Toronto’s turn. And, as you may know, the Toronto Pride celebrations are the biggest in the country and recognized as one of the major events of their kind on the planet.

Everything comes to a colourful crescendo. I’ve often called it the best day of the year. A sense of collective, family, love, pride and awareness of community.  And in that spirit, maybe it is time to reflect on the past year or so in LGBT culture and politics.  It’s been quite a period, capped by U.S. president Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage – a big first – some would say an overdue endorsement, but maybe also a decisive one that not everyone was expecting.

There’s been the continuing expanding embrace of LGBT by corporate interests, not only in their canny sponsorship of big Pride celebrations but in ad campaigns and product tweaks, from the Oreo with the rainbow filling to J.C.Penney Father’s Day ads with the two dads. And be honest; no doubt it may be in their economic interest but it still feels like a major step for the corporate world, the normalization of cultural diversity and LGBT.

There has also been significant movement to save the lives of young people who are facing the prospect of bullying, isolation or even suicide because of their sexual orientation on the spectrum. Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign and the ”You Can Play” project in professional sports have come to international prominence. And comprehensive ante-bullying legislation for schools here in Ontario has been passed, even in the face of the headline-grabbing debate between church and state over the status of gay-straight alliances.

We must not forget more stars coming out too – and in pages of the comics, Green Lantern.

It’s been a banner year in many ways. But as we also know, there are still haters, bullies, others out there who would stand in the way of basic human rights for every citizen. Maybe, though, there has been more good news than bad on this file lately. You know, it’s kind of serendipitous that Toronto’s Pride festivities and parade in particular will fall on Canada Day this year.

As we celebrate the birth of our nation, call Pride a reminder, perhaps, of the importance of embracing our closely held Canadian values of diversity, of respect.  Here’s to welcoming openness, to tolerance and celebration – in a country of rainbow colours through and through.

I’m Jian Ghomeshi.  Happy Pride, kids!

About the Author

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on LiveJournal.com where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s HIVStigma.com campaign, along with PositiveLite.com founder Brian Finch. He joined PositiveLite.com at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for TheBody.com.

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.