|The rainbow flag against the clock of "Old City Hall"|
Yesterday was another gorgeous day in a May that has been full of them. First thing in the morning, I opened my card and a couple of prezzies from Sarah (a Wii game and a great movie trivia book from TCM) and saw her off to work. I spent most of the rest of the morning hanging out with Addie, doing some writing, reading and answering a flood of birthday wishes (I have some amazing friends) and catching up on news. Just before noon I headed down to Nathan Phillips Square for the 12:30 raising of the rainbow flag in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia (and Transphobia), or IDAHO. I was disappointed to learn earlier in the day that Brian Burke had decided to skip this event so that he could fly to Oklahoma City for a game last night involving the Marlies, the Maple Leafs' minor-league team. It seemed to me he could have done both quite easily; he completely missed the NHL draft last summer because he decided that would be a good time for a visit to the troops in Afghanistan so there's certainly precedent for him choosing personal commitment over his "job". But Burke will likely be in the Pride parade again this year, so I guess some slack should be cut. I mean, it's not like he's the mayor of the city who won't attend any events involving Toronto's LGBT community.
Or at least that's what we all thought before yesterday.
|A button I was given at the event|
After Coun. Wong-Tam finished some other people spoke - people with whom I am not familiar and couldn't really hear. One of them was an LGBT liaison officer for the Toronto Police but try as I might I cannot find her name online. Then it came time for Jim Callahan, "a proud PFLAG dad", to read the message from Brian Burke.
|RoFo leaving the PFLAG event|
|A much bigger crowd than last year, from all accounts|
My favourite local journalist, Edward Keenan, was there and had similar views to mine. Hamutal Dotan, writing in the Torontoist, had perhaps even a better take on it. Whatever one's view is of the whole situation, it was still a pretty exciting thing to have witnessed - or, in my case, almost witnessed. At least I was in a great spot to see Ford leaving. And the timing of his leaving has made me start to wonder about something: Ford didn't attend this event last year while Burke did. He didn't attend the Pride parade, again attended by Burke. He only showed up at the very last moment yesterday and we didn't discover Burke was going to miss this event until very late in the morning, which was also a surprise. And then Ford left while Burke's statement was being read. Do you suppose there is any possible chance that Ford has some kind of a feud going with Burke? Knowing the public traits of both of these men, I certainly will not discount that possibility out of hand. Let's see what the future brings and remember, if it turns out to be true: you heard it here first.
Almost anticlimactically, I still had quite a bit of birthday time left and I spent it well. From City Hall I dropped by "What a Bagel" to get my free dozen bagels. I chose the location in the Spadina Village, because I often went there (the Village, not that bagel shop) with John Rose and his mom, Mimi, whom I wrote about on Mother's Day. I also bought some cream cheese to take home and a corned beef on rye to not take home. Yummy! I had a couple of other stops to make and returned home late afternoon to a cat that was really happy to see me. We popped out on the balcony for a short time and then waited for "mommy" to come home. We ordered Swiss Chalet Delivery for dinner (also yummy - I had a slice of cake with mine!) and settled in to watch not one, not two, but three episodes of our favourite currently-running show, Community, which wrapped up this season for them. The first of these involved them "going 8-bit" and being inside a video game; this was just about the best thing I have seen on television in a long, long time.
And then, just like that, the day was over. Another birthday come and gone and, while I like to say that they are all pretty insignificant from here on in (except the decade milestones), the truth of the matter is that no birthday is really "insignificant". It's been a tough year but I lived through it and somehow still have my friends, my family and my (relative) sanity to show for it. If I can say exactly the same thing next year, it will be enough.
Have a fantastic May Two-Four Weekend, everybody - the real "first days of summer" in Canada.