This past weekend, gay pride was celebrated across the country and in parts of the world.
My first 'real' apartment in Toronto was downtown in the heart of the gay district. It was a studio apartment with a great park view and was just a 10 minute walk to work. I loved being able to walk home and pick up fresh fruits and veggies from the local mom and pop stores. I had everything I needed - a hardware store, a wine store, a pharmacy, grocery shops, restaurants and a Body Shop.
It did not sit well with my family or my then-boyfriend that I lived in the gay district but I loved it!! Everyone was friendly and I felt very safe. I was walking distance to the subway, theatres, shopping, you name it. And the rent was reasonable. I never should have moved.
The weekend I moved in, a work friend helped me paint. We had to park several blocks away and walk as my street was blocked off. While walking through this huge block party, my friend told me we were the minority there. "Why? Because we look like a mixed race couple?" I asked. "No, because I'm a man and you are a woman," he said. I looked around and realized he was right. That's when I noticed the men dressed in women's clothing and the outrageous outfits. And the floats. I grabbed his hand.
Later that evening, we were watching TV and that's when I realized we had walked down the center of Toronto's gay pride parade!!