I work with some of the brightest political minds in Canada and some of the best writers, sadly I am neither. I am a proud Canadian, I am proud of my country and what it stands for. I am proud that we treat people equally or at least try to. We should not be judged by the colour of our skin, our economic position, our education level or who we love. That last one is important to me, I have a great husband and so do many of my friends, we have wives and husbands, we are gay and straight, we love and we are loved and we are accepted. I am outraged by the Russian governments stand on Gay rights and I am disappointed that Canadians do not seem to be. Maybe I am wrong, that we are outraged but we are too Canadian to say too much. We are polite, we don’t rock the boat, we are peacekeepers, or are we? Canada has a strong history of standing up for other rights, and our own.
For the last seven years Russia has become more homophobic while the rest of the world has working at becoming less. Gay marriage acceptance is increasing, gay adoptions are more common and most countries consider violence against a gay person to be a hate crime. We were the 4th country in the world to legal same sex marriages in 2005 and have enshrined equal rights for all in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. While I agree with the governments position that a boycott is not an option, I do not think backroom discussions are the best way either.
So this is me, doing something. During the Olympics, February 7-23, I will replace my profile photo with this image and I encourage you to do the same.
I will also be wearing a rainbow ribbon every day to show my support for the LGBT community and my outrage over the Russian anti-gay laws. If we can get every Canadian to do this, maybe just maybe we will send a strong united message.
While the International Olympic Committee has said athletes cannot comment about the anit-gay laws while on accredited areas, they are free to do so elsewhere. I encourage our athletes to wear a rainbow ribbon where it is safe to do so to show their feelings about this anti-gay policy. I would love to see the Canadian contingent walk into the Olympic stadium all wearing a rainbow ribbon next to the Maple Leaf on their jacket but I know that will not happen…but I can dream.
If you feel the same, please consider changing your profile picture during the Olympics, it’s a small step but something we can do together.