I’m stunned. I’m shaking. I’m furious. I’m on the brink of tears. I’m about ready to explode! But I can’t. Because I’m at work.
Breath Kate…..Just breathe…..You should probably just write something down.
Aug 3, 2013 and it’s another day as a hotel concierge. For those unfamiliar with the title, I basically sit in a hotel lobby and hook guests up with tours, show tickets and restaurant reservations. Not a bad part-time gig for a world traveler and aspiring actress. Saying I meet and converse with all kinds from all places is definitely an understatement. It’s interesting getting to listen to guest reactions to the city of Toronto. I often hear the same comments over and over; the city is so clean, the people so nice, and the population SO multicultural. As a born an raised Torontonian (a term Americans find particularly amusing), I am absolutely in love with this city. It has its issues of course. Transit is useless, homeless are everywhere, and our Mayor is a moron who allegedly smokes crack (though I’ve always thought that crack video thing was BS). We do have crime, racism and bigotry. But it’s that multiculturalism that makes the city so great. A city filled with “all kinds” living, for the most part, peacefully and respectfully amid a broad spectrum of differences. In fact, I’m writing this during Caribana parade weekend, which specifically celebrates Caribbean culture, but welcomes all ethnicities to join the party.
Why is all of this important? Well, on this day in particular, I engaged in a conversation with a guest checking out of the hotel who was taking issue with the attire (or lack thereof) on the ladies attending the parade. I informed him that dressing elaborately and often scantily clad was pretty typical of big Toronto events like Caribana and the Gay Pride Parade. His response to the latter was as follows : “Ew! Gross! You let those sick people stay here!”. Now he was saying this with what he would probably describe as lighthearted humour. But in reality, he was 100% serious about his opposition to a gay and lesbian “lifestyle”. He then ruined the next 10 mins of my life telling me why.
He brought out all the old bigotry tricks. He brought God into it. He brought evil into it. He knows for a fact that “they don’t WANT to be gay” and they need to stop pushing “the gay agenda that is intended to confuse children and corrode our social institutions “. It was at this point that I informed him of MY role in said agenda, which he just shrugged off. She’s an actress and it’s just another role. He had no idea how important this role means to my own agenda, which is to do what I can to help rid the world of ignorant, oppressive thoughts and turn it into an accepting, loving place. But I clenched my fists, bit my tongue, and kept it to myself. I was not allowed to have a voice. I was, after all, at work.
To be honest, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before and argued to the point where me and my opponent threw up our hands and agreed to disagree. I’m always left angry, but this time I was left sad. As he looked me in the eyes and spoke, I thought about what it would be like to be gay and feel his persecution and judgement, all the while telling me it comes from a spiritual place. I’m agnostic, but to put my self in the shoes of someone who really does seek God’s love and salvation, these words would be torturous and heartbreaking. His words are intended to come from a place of love. However, at this moment I begin to think of every single person who has ever been bullied, rejected, tortured, killed or took their own life because someone insisted God doesn’t approve of who they are. Because society doesn’t approve. It seems to me, love and understanding continue to go right out the window.
Where am I going with all this? Well you the fans have been amazing! Watching, sharing, and donating. You have supported as much as you can and waited a long time for new episodes. We understand your frustration and in some cases literal outrage that we are asking for more donations (oh yah people, I read your comments). But this show has changed lives. It has let LGBTQ youth know that when someone speaks to them the way this guy spoke to me, he is the one who is wrong. We all deserve to be happy, we deserve to love and be loved. We are beautiful and perfect, just the way we are. The whole world should aspire to live peacefully and respectfully with one another. This is my idealistic Torontonian dream that gives Rose purpose for me. And this message continues to be spread around the world because people like watching what we’ve done. But unfortunately making what we’ve done takes money, and we still need more.
So channel your frustration into donating and sharing our contribute video. Every dollar helps. Every share furthers the cause. And together, we can show this guy where love really comes from.
Phew! I feel better. Back to the grind now….