My Dad wrote this as part of the PFLAG newsletter back home in Toronto. Thought I'd share it with y'all. Love.
The first Pride Parade that I attended, not as a participant but as a bystander, was in San Francisco, while on vacation, in 1978. This was shared with my future wife, Irene, and well before our marriage and children. Who knew it was a portent of things to come. Fast forward more than 30 years and I am now a member of the Board of Directors of PFLAG Toronto and its Treasurer. Why? Our son is a gay man. I watched him grow up alongside his sister, and both of these wonderful children filled me with love and pride – from toddlerhood to adulthood. When our son came out the dismay to us was not that he was gay but the realization that throughout his youth he had worked at acting straight and tried to fit in, while suffering the taunts of schoolmates who picked on him. He missed out on fully enjoying his early teen years and we could not go back and “fix” it for him. Sadly this is a story often heard at PFLAG of youngsters being bullied, ostracized and marginalized because they are, or are perceived to be, ‘different’. Through our children and my PFLAG Toronto involvement I have met so many people who accept each other for being exactly who they are. It has truly opened up my life, and made me a better person. I am a Chartered Accountant by training, and have held a number of senior positions in large North American companies; Chief Financial Officer for Woolworth Canada and Club Monaco –Polo Ralph Lauren, to name a few. Today, I am happy to be known as a proud PFLAG Dad. I am currently a part time professor of Finance at Seneca College. I proudly wear the rainbow bracelet when I am teaching and have found that occasionally students will ask why and what it means. This starts a dialogue that invariably ends with the student indicating that they have friends or acquaintances who are gay and they either talk about the difficulties they face or they ask about them. Often they thank me for speaking openly and personally about a topic they have not explored before. They say they will think about sexual orientation with more positive feelings. It illustrates that we can educate the world, one person at a time. I am proud to be a part of PFLAG Toronto, helping to support the LGBTQ community and all families.