On Sunday, Ottawa’s most colourful festival took over the city core. The 2011 edition of the Gay Pride festival didn’t bring out the sun but the crowd showed up.
It was a strange weekend. On Saturday, I went to Parliament Hill to see the memorial dedicated to Jack Layton. And as I was taking pictures, I noticed a huge gathering at the bottom of the Peace Tower. At first, I thought the event had to do with Layton’s funerals in Toronto that were taking place around the same time. Minutes later, the crowd started singing and praising Jesus the Lord blah blah blah.
Oh. Okay. Them again. Alright… I believe in free speech, right?
So I stuck around the memorial, a few metres away from the prayer group, desperately trying to take pictures and to block the message that was blasting in my ears. “We believe we need to restore Canada to its morally conservative roots”… “abortion kills babies”… “we want to believe Canada will follow God…”
Ugh. They gave me a headache and made me quite angry.
Anyway… and on Sunday was the Gay Pride. Let’s just say I was way more comfortable there than close to the anti-abortion evangelists group.
As a photographer, I see the Gay Pride as a great street photography opportunity. As a citizen, I see it as a reminder to the world that yes, love and relationships come in various forms—a man and a woman, two men, two women… Gay and lesbian couples raise kids, some men like to dress as women, some women like to dress as men, etc. To quote Pierre Trudeau, “the State had no business in the bedroom of consenting adults.” Don’t like gay people? Well, don’t be gay and close your eyes. You may want to skip the series of pictures below too.
The world needs Gay Pride to remember that homosexuality is neither a disease nor a choice. It’s just… love. And yet, members of the LGTB community are regularly victims of discrimination. Why? What can justify it? Homosexuality is as old as the history of the world. Nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide.
There are LGBT people out there in the world.
Get over it.