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As gay men we've learned to take what we can get from this world. Sometimes what we'll "take" is a closeted man in pain and an expiration date looming.
I'm sure most of us have had experiences with an overly aggressive man trying to strong-arm you into a sexual relationship. Why does this happen? My theory is simple. These men overcompensate. They fight this, they embrace "bro" culture -- anything to feel they have "reclaimed" this lost masculinity.
I crushed on guys who were "out of my league." I saw others get attention while I was ignored or rejected. I felt bad about my body, which was mostly fat, with little or no visible muscle. My face was pretty and my mannerisms were soft, leaving me pretty low in the hierarchy. So I took action.
Coldplay, along with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, gave one of the best performances the halftime show has ever seen with the simple yet powerful message, "Believe in Love." This fueled a reaction that is quite common to members of the LGBT community. To put it gently, the homophobes went to work all across the virtual world.
I am often reminded of Martin Luther King, who uniquely demonstrated that eloquence trumps bigotry, when researching Canada's earliest LGBT activists. They, like King, were at the forefront of a dramatic civil rights movement, making powerful and persuasive arguments for social justice in the face of sometimes brutal suppression.
Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.
A minority is defined as dangerous by a segment of society that clings to traditional views of acceptability. They fail to recognize prejudices inherent in their views until a hard-won fight for equal rights and shifting zeitgeist forces them to move on, foisting their fears on the next marginalized group.
The intersection of Tamil and Gay seems to signal malfunction. Whether we judge ourselves or are judged by our families or communities, the anxiety and fear caused by discrimination is real. We allow social shaming to dictate the way we feel about a situation, and obsess about what others think.
My best friend for a quarter century has been "out of the closet" all of his life. Me -- since I was 26. We find we agree on almost everything except Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and gay pride. He calls Pride "a bunch of half-naked gays taking up space on a main street -- why bother?" I say it is one of the most important celebrations a gay or lesbian may choose to partake in.
To those who expected Foster to announce publicly that she is gay, the speech was likely a disappointment. Certainly celebrity news opportunists like Harvey Levin and Perez Hilton were deleting hastily written posts for their websites when Foster said little more than "I'm single" as her big announcement. The subsequent outcry from some in the LGBTQ was perhaps far more surprising than Foster's refusal to publicly come out.