The Brown Rainbow

Every Pride weekend I experience a crystallizing moment.  This year was exceptional because there were many.  I look for moments of gratitude – to appreciate what is loving, free and honest in my life and those around me.

This year three moments stood out. I celebrated this year with my brown friends – our second year as out loud and proud Ismailis.  The privilege of living in Canada and expressing our sexuality was so obvious. As our float rounded the corner onto Bloor street – the crowd was warm and friendly, cheering us on.  Did they know we were making a statement about sexuality and spirituality? Maybe.  Maybe  not.  The  important part was we were all there – those waving us on and those of us carrying rainbow banners. Our story as a community is that we create space for ourselves and each other. There is no waiting. It happens in the now. And that is a conscious decision. And we did it – again, despite what the community or our families or our peers might say. The vastness of it was dazzling.  For a moment I had tears in my eyes and felt freedom in my soul.

As we made our way down Yonge street – I caught eyes with an older woman with white hair standing close to the parade barrier. I held my sign up to acknowledge her presence and she placed her hand over her heart.  In another time and place, I might have been her.

I marched for her.

At Yonge and College – a white sheet was draped on the south east corner of the parade barricade and it read – On behalf of  Christians everywhere we apologize for teaching hate instead of loving you.


There is magic at every corner. Honesty is healing and shaking up the status quo is an opportunity offered to all of us.  Make sure you do it and you make it count.

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