Rainbow Coloured Socks

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This blog post has nothing to do with my time in Sudbury last year, but I was looking for somewhere to put it and, well, I still have this blog so here it is.

When I was 13, I made a mistake. I took a week off from going to Girl Guide camp and went to a different camp that had come highly recommended. The camp itself was fine, but the defining moment for me came when a girl in my cabin, whose name I don’t even remember, lashed out at me in an argument and called me gay.

It sounded like an insult, it felt like an insult, it was intended as an insult and to my 13-year old self it must have been one because she was promptly moved to a different cabin and I never returned to that camp again.

At the time I didn’t think of myself that way and didn’t really know where the comment came from other than that it was supposed to be upsetting.

I know what it’s like to be a minority. I’m an Anglophone in Quebec, a Quebecer in the rest of Canada and I have a disability that has affected my personal life, my work life and my education. The former have made me feel like a part of a group, the visual impairment is, well, just unfortunate.

When I chose to come out as gay a little over a year ago, and yes, that part was a choice, I didn’t do it to feel part of a community. I didn’t expect to feel connected to people around the world, but with the event in Orlando this week and everything all over social media around it, I find myself surfing through Facebook in search of more and more messages of support, love and camaraderie.

Some of you may be reading about this and wondering why I didn’t tell you in person. Believe me when I say that every single time I do tell someone, no matter how convinced I am that I know how they will react, it’s not spontaneous. Sharing the truth takes trust, but it also takes the right moment and my being able to tell all the voices in my head to shut up over and over again.

Oh and sometimes I just enjoy watching people who don’t know put their foot in their mouth when they talk about “those gay people.” It’s amazing what people will say when they think they are talking about others.

I keep a notebook with the first thing everyone I have ever told said when they heard. Comments range from “Hugs!” to “I was going to ask…” to “…” and “thanks for sharing.” Ask me what you said if you’re curious.

My favourite story involves my grandfather. My Dad went to visit him at one point when I wasn’t around and although we had decided that telling him wasn’t really necessary, my Dad decided to share the news. The next time I visited, I was randomly wearing a pair of rainbow-striped ankle socks. My grandpa just looked at them and said: “I like your socks!” That’s it, that’s all. The conversation ended there. It’s entirely possible that he was really just commenting on my socks, but I don’t think I had ever heard him say anything else about a piece of clothing I had ever worn. I like to think that he just didn’t know how else to tell me that he was happy for me.

I debated for a while about posting this here. They do say that once something is on the Internet, it never really goes away. But I’m not really that worried about friends or future employers reading this. If it bothers you that much, I probably don’t want to know you anyways.

All this to say, you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or if you consider yourself an ally, keep posting about it. I may not comment, I may not mention it, but I do notice and appreciate it more than you know — and I’m sure I’m not alone.

PS. Thanks Girl Guides!

April 28

1. Sat in on the first of the three Science North Wild Weather meetings

2. Got to see Lauren again! Yay for Internships that intersect with Science North

3. Nice enough to eat lunch outside

4. Games night at Guides

5. Packing…

April 27

1. Cold and windy at DE

2. Finished mocking up the DE app

3. Sold my couch

4. Met with the firm who is coding the app I’m developing

5. Alfredo sauce makes a nice replacement for milk and butter in mac ‘n cheese

April 25

1. Volunteered at Sudbury’s Earth Day celebration

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2. Ate bugs (crickets and cricket chilli) and convinced others to do the same

3. Got a pretty new water bottle

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4. Carly is gone

5. Robin got her half-package!

5.

April 24

1. Started working on my research project. Some people really don’t know how to answer surveys!

2. Went to do a Let’s Talk Science Astronomy workshop with a grade 5/6 class at Copper Cliff elementary school with Kevin. I’d forgotten how much I missed that kind of thing.

3. The sun is back!

4. Made pancakes with lime curd for dinner.

5. Watched The Minority Report with Kevin. It was an interesting concept, but went on a bit too long.

April 23

1. Last day of work for the week

2. It’s still way too cold!

3. Powerpoint is silly. When I design a presentation that is in portrait format so that it will fit nicely on a phone screen, I don’t want it rotated and tiny in landscape format on my ipod!

4. Helped a few people in the office test a marshmallow/spaghetti structure building contest.

5. Solidified plans to head to Toronto next weekend

April 22

1. Card game party at the Struthers house (Bohnanza).

2. Used the food Steve left behind to make dinner for everyone.

3. Why is it so cold? It’s not supposed to snow in late April!

4. More app designing

5. I’m behind on blog writing and can’t remember a 5th thing

April 21

1. Writing quiz questions for the Science park app is more complex than I expected.

2. Good luck Kevin! I’m sure you rocked your interview!

3. Proud of my Mom! You’re right. Who cares what people think!

4. Enjoyed a Guide-cooked dinner

5. Sharing music and videos with Carly

April 20

1. Rain… 😦 I was finally starting to enjoy Sudbury weather

2. Field trip to the Lake Center to get help for our internship from Dr. Dave

3. Girl Guide conference call — hilarious as usual

4. Started X company

5. Caught up on emails