A colourful crescendo
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.
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!