Letter: Value of freedom underlies rainbow crosswalk

Dear Editor,
Outward and visible signs are important in spurring, engaging conversation in a democratic society and democratic legal processes. Theocracies and religion is another matter entirely because the possibility of change from within the institutions is specious at best. Old habits die hard.
The Rainbow Crosswalk, as conceived, is about recognizing basic human rights, diversity, and celebrating if and when old ideologies no longer come with infected baggage, fear and hatred that does not pass customs clearance in secular society for the 21st century. On November 28th, 2017 our current PM delivered a historic parliamentary apology, endorsed by all parties to the GBLTQ2+. Local GBLT, with family and supporters spoke, proposed a rainbow crosswalk gift offering to this community, which would not have required one cent of fickle, community spending.
Facts and candid discussion tip and restore a weight and balance (of power, of privilege?) in the Rainbow Crosswalk matter. I hope and trust that the installation and dedication of a rainbow bench and our shared humanity will facilitate discussion. Emerging and coming out of our caves and open discussion is necessary. It applies as equally to GBLTQ2+ as well as to the parents, supportive friends, family, and to the wider community.
That said, it is none other than victims of ignorance and repression alone, to assess, determine, pick the circumstances, timing and moment to come out of the closet, to display their true colours. That emergence is a good thing, maybe even a sacred thing, but a culture that pressures to expedite or delay that process of coming out, as a personal choice at any age is not innocuous, may be a fortuitous accident, intentional, or disastrous by coersion- the result of taunting. Bullying can drive the victim further into a shell, or worse. There are many commonalities but I expect coming out is a unique process and none other than the GBLTQ2+ person gets a say in that.
Silence, silencing, and intimidation kills as death by a thousand cuts. Mr. Nusse’s Letter in a previous edition of the Rocky Mountain Goat, artfully avoids matters that may understandably fall outside the spectrum of his breadth or personal life experiences. Normal human sexuality has in previous generations meant immense trauma and unnecessary strife. We are at the edge of the woods, not out of it. It’s sad today that normal sexual diversity real human and community issues are quashed, ignored, deferred, obscured occluded by old ignorance and superstitions. Issues and troubles below the surface swept under carpets, not talked about- aided by artful politicians who make boastful, disingenuous, anaemic excuses. Wolves in sheeps clothing will allege the creation of division, which in honesty pre-existed. Political tactics, endeavors, maneuvers to maintain a status quo, a repressive one, to serve a few entitled ones don’t fool anyone in a mature democracy. And deferral serves no community aspiring to be a functionally inclusive one.
Let there be no doubt that normal human beings are diverse, and we are a diversity of sexual beings and orientations whether in private quarters, public places, young or old, and in or out of open, public spaces. Imposed repression of normal, healthy, cultural expressions of human affection is bad, the root of many societal ills. You may now kiss the bride in your church, equitably and publicly hold hands in public, or discreetly sirs and madams! ‘Oh Canada, We stand on guard for thee’ reaches beyond the perimeters of a land base. It comprises and encompasses Canadian, heart-felt, hard-won freedom ideals that the most macho of Legionnaires would defend today. Ideals of freedom. Pride events all across this country celebrating secular freedoms realize and reinforce separation of church and state. These community events are not nazism, or public hysteria, or risking any persuasive public propaganda or brainwashing. They are unique celebrations of our ideals of community inclusion. Symbolism of a Rainbow Crosswalk cannot rationally, logically or in any way be equated with allegations of state interference with personal family matters, or the presence of a Rainbow Crosswalk any abrogation of parental rights. There is no association inciting anyone to sexual experimentation or intercourse. Just a safe, human, base-level, celebration of our inclusiveness as a democratic norm.

Peter Fox
Valemount, BC

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