And then the hallucinations started….

Annie hiding behind hockey trophyAfter that long day receiving red blood cells at the cancer centre, I was pooped. I had been forewarned that my wonder drug, morphine, might cause hallucinations. I have slowly been increasing my dose, and had recently taken a booster dose upon experiencing breakthrough pain. That’s when strange things started occurring. 

First, my non-Jewish friend with Jewish baking prowess unexpectedly showed up at our door with a six-strand challah. Yes, you read that right, six strands of gorgeous challah braided to perfection. I have never seen such a gorgeous loaf, even at a Jewish celebration. This is the same friend who outdid all of us, Jewish or not, at the recent Jewish baking class, assembling those bacon-filled knishes adeptly as she did. She’d also dropped off a chocolate babka she’d made one day long ago, as if she whips together Jewish gourmet offerings all the time. I knew her history and her skills and YouTube cheater videos, yet I was sure I was hallucinating the challah.

The friend brought the challah in, removed her shoes, and settled in. I figured it was all a dream. Then, as the morphine took hold, I tried to keep myself from nodding off altogether, while another friend appeared unexpectedly with a trophy-like object in one hand, and a gorgeous rhubarb-apple pie in the other. How odd. I couldn’t recall winning the Spelling or Grammar Bee (I would have been a shoo-in had I entered) or tried out for Name that Classical Tune. I was becoming very confused.

I took a closer look at the trophy and realized that the figure was holding a stick of some kind. Was it lacrosse or hockey? All I knew was that this friend too seemed to be expected, and he too assumed a place on the couch. Then his wife, Ms. Challah Bun in the Oven, arrived to join the festivities. Everyone else seemed to know why we were gathered, except for spacey old me.

If you thought you could easily pull off a surprise on me before, imagine how oblivious I am now. With morphine, I am off to La La Land, and I won’t be back for some time. A nap would have helped, but that seemed rude in present company, if indeed present company was not a mirage.

At some point, I was informed that we were celebrating my hockey pool win, that unfathomable victory I’d secured the week prior. Judy had chosen me such an excellent roster this year that I’d left even her own team choices in the dust. I’d have jumped for joy at the victory–surprise, surprise, this Jewish lass had never received a sports trophy in her life–but injury would have ensued. I can’t even walk in a straight line right now; do you think I can lift both feet off the ground simultaneously without risking serious injury?

This morphine is a potent drug. In no time, I’ve had my greatest dreams fulfilled. There I sat Tuesday afternoon, celebrating my first ever major sports victory, as I lay dying hallucinating. No, I will not share my morphine with you. Dying people are selfish.

 

P.S. I’m so excited about tomorrow’s Blood Donor Clinics in Toronto and Calgary. Your support has been tremendous.

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A bittersweet celebration

Double scoop ice cream in waffle cone

Six years ago, J. and I tied the knot in our living room. The only ones who knew about the plan were: a) J. and me; b) our two Bassets at the time, Peanut Butter and Jelly; and c) the marriage commissioner we had hired. Even the witnesses, who had driven in from out of town that day, had no idea why we were rushing them through dinner.

During the ceremony, which was short and sweet, we said our vows, exchanged the rings we had already been wearing for many years, and legitimised our relationship after 12 years together. We were no longer living in sin. Peanut Butter brought some levity to the event by dropping her ball by the commissioner’s feet in the middle of the ceremony.

We got a lot of flak over our micro wedding. People were sad they weren’t invited to celebrate with us. We were legitimizing a relationship that was 12 years old already; we didn’t want to register for kitchen appliances we didn’t need, we didn’t want to drag our long-distance families to Calgary for a brief ceremony, and you’ve got to know by looking at me that I’m not the kind of person who would enjoy getting gussied up in a white wedding dress, Not my thing.

Then there was the whole gay thing, and knowing some were uncomfortable with the idea of two women tying the knot. Let’s spare everyone the inconvenience and potential discomfort, we thought.

No, it wasn’t fair of us to make the decision to exclude our loved ones. They would have been happy to celebrate with us, and we should not have taken that choice away from them.

Some days I do regret how we married. I wish we’d had our nearest and dearest there with us. Sometimes J. describes the love and support for the union of a marriage she’s officiated, and I am sad that we deprived ourselves of those sentiments on our wedding day.

I may regret how we married some days, but I never regret that we did marry. However long we’d been together prior, marriage felt different. I’m glad we made that commitment to one another.

Two months following our wedding, I almost died in the ICU following my leukemia diagnosis. In sickness and in health, people joked, in between discussions of funeral arrangements. Sure, we had the documentation in place that would allow J. to make medical decisions on my behalf but being married meant that J.’s decision-making power was assumed.

In the six years since, I could not ask for a more devoted partner, one who has stepped up to every challenge that has crossed her path. Many would have bailed, but not J. The sicker I’ve gotten, the more she’s shone. She is still my spouse but she is also now my caregiver. She cooks, she cleans, she does laundry, and she drives me wherever I need to go. All without complaint.

In the end, the anniversary was bittersweet: cause for celebration mixed with sadness that this would likely be our last. The one thing that salvaged the day was ice cream for dinner. Ice cream cures all ills, I’m told.

I’ve always worked better with deadlines

Picture of gate into Jewish cemetery

Deadline is a funny word, isn’t it?

All I need is a deadline looming to spur me into action. I have one now, a final one, with no extensions, and lots left to do before it arrives. Boy have I been busy this week! It’s a good thing I got those two pints of red blood cells earlier this week.

Yesterday we met with the Reform rabbi whom I’m hoping will conduct my funeral even though I am not a member of his congregation. I’ve heard only good things about him from those who know him. He was as wonderful in person as he’d been described. I was surprised to learn that wanting to meet the person who will officiate one’s funeral is unusual. Wouldn’t you want to know the person who’d be sending you off? My goal was not to vet him but to know he’d be willing to take the job. He reassured me that he would.

I also wanted him to meet me. How many funerals have you been to where it was clear the officiant knew nothing about the person who’d died? I don’t want an impersonal ceremony. Sure, it was a hard meeting, and tears were shed, but moreso, J. and I were both deeply comforted.

Today we met with the lovely Jewish funeral director and visited the cemetery adjoining the funeral home, where I will ultimately be buried. I would like to choose my cemetery plot, although I’m hoping my spirit will reside elsewhere. Maybe you could all hold on to a bit of it after I’m gone? Just take the parts you like and leave the rest for the worms.

The director explained the process from death to burial, and made himself available for future questions. I was so relieved to hear about the openness of this organization to Jews at all levels observance. Like the rabbi, this fellow did not bat an eye at J.’s presence as my wife.

Finally, and less critically, I dropped by the optometrist’s office to return those contact lenses I’d recently purchased, figuring I likely wouldn’t need them. When I told the assistant I wanted a refund–I spared her an explanation of why–she seemed unusually miffed. She scurried into the back, returning a short time later with a colleague, who questioned my request. Why I was returning lenses that had worked so well for me for so long?

I was trying to spare the ladies my reality, but you know what happens when I’m pushed: I’m honest. So I told her, “I will not need them because I am dying. I won’t have sufficient time to use them.” She then cheerily refunded my money while her colleague looked on sheepishly. As I was leaving, Ms. Refunder said, “Hope to see you soon!” Did she mishear me? Her response was as insensitive as last week’s letter from the psychology college, I’d say.

Anger, anger, go away. You’re not helping matters. Better to focus on gratitude for these two lovely men who will guide us through this process of death and dying. Thanks to them, we both feel supported and comforted as we head into the final stretch. With so little control right now, we’re grateful to be able to make some, any decisions for ourselves.

Consent by any other name is not so sweet

One of psychologists’ core ethical principles is maintaining appropriate boundaries with our clients. We all define appropriate boundaries in our own way, but there are certain immutable guidelines. Here are mine.

I do not spend time with clients outside a therapy session, either on line or in person. This means not being Facebook friends, not going for dinner together, not meeting up for the latest exhibit at the art gallery, and not signing up for the same yoga class. If a client ends up in yoga with me, that’s different; as long as I don’t orchestrate our co-attendance, and we don’t have an unplanned therapy session during savasana, I have not violated these rules.

To take this one step further, any ethical psychologist does not engage in a sexual or romantic relationship with a client ever. Some might consider such a relationship permissible after the therapeutic relationship ends, but not me. If you can’t figure out why that shift in boundaries would be inappropriate, I’d suggest you not become a therapist.

Thus, if I am a client’s therapist, I can’t also be his employee or his best friend or his soccer coach. This philosophy is clearly foreign to the entertainment industry. Daily of late another idiot confesses under duress to behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner with one or two or 60 people over whom he has had power. These abusers’ power lies in their potential positive or negative influence on that person’s career. Maybe I can educate this industry to end these long-standing abuses of power.

The Harvey Insights

  1. If you are in a position of power over an individual, whether as a movie producer or a mentor or a coach or a boss or a teacher or a parent or a therapist, do not engage in a sexual relationship with that person.
  2. If the object of your interest is 40+ years your junior, let’s assume there is an inherent power imbalance. In other words, date someone your own age.
  3. If you hold meetings in your hotel room and forget to wear clothes, your behaviour may be construed as sexually improper.
  4. If your ungentlemanly sexual behaviour is the talk of the town, be aware that at some point the police may get involved.

If it is too late for you, and you have already made gross (in all senses of the word) errors in judgement, consider that the following are not valid excuses for your behaviour.

The Life-Is-No-Longer-a-Bed-of-Roses Excuses

  1. I was drunk and I can’t remember abusing you.
  2. I was confused about my sexual identity at the time.
  3. I have a sexual addiction. (Sorry, folks, there is no such thing as a sexual addiction, and thus no treatment for this fictitious ailment. Sexual addicts are people unwilling to admit to their propensity to abuse others sexually.)
  4. I thought she consented. (Have you already forgotten that 40+ year age difference and the inherent power imbalance mentioned earlier? Perhaps you’re suffering from age-related memory loss. You might want to investigate that. Oh, and stop flattering yourself.)

Finally, consider that not saying yes may mean no. If you put on your reading glasses, you might better be able to read between those lines, fellas. Don’t miss the oh-so-subtle signs of your subordinate’s fleeing screaming from your hotel room.

Quote: It's not consent if you are making me afraid to say no

The Hardy Boys: Mystery of the Missing Bride

Two male hands cutting a wedding cake

Following the fairy-tale wedding I shared with you last week, a compelling mystery arose at the restaurant celebration. I’ll provide a few clues along the way so you can solve it yourself.

I’d mentioned last week that after the ceremony, the newlyweds and their children hosted dinner at a lovely restaurant nearby, inviting J. and me, as well as the lovely minister and his wife. When they made the reservation, they made arrangements to bring along the beautiful wedding cake their daughter had baked so it could be served for dessert.

The family arrived at the restaurant first, two dads and their son all decked out in suits with boutonnieres, and their daughter in a stunning dress with a lovely wrist corsage. One of the dads handed the gorgeous cake to our greeter. The rest of the party arrived soon thereafter, filling the remaining four seats at the table. We sat facing the happy family, two glowing dads flanked by their two children.

It was the perfect evening with easy conversation. After Tom’s diatribe on red Smarties, Harry shared his feisty wedding-suit saleswoman’s loud comments on his hard-to-fit high glutes and saggy bottom. I dare say a splendid time was being had by all.

As we awaited our delectable meals–this was a grown-up restaurant after all–one of the serving staff leaned toward Harry and quietly asked him something we couldn’t hear. He tried not to draw attention to the interaction but because we were nosy, he acknowledged he’d been asked, “Shall we serve the cake when the bride arrives?”

Now I understand why Harry looked so confused at this question. There were 8 seats at our reserved table and all of those seats were taken. Even if a bride were due to arrive later, where would she sit? On Tom’s dapper lap? Wouldn’t that be a bit awkward for Harry? How could the server miss the two glowing grooms?

Harry appeared to take the comment in stride. (Did he really? How hurt was he by this innocent question?) He quietly instructed the server to bring the cake out when it was time for dessert, which another server did at that time. She asked no less delicately where to place the cake. (Sure, gay folks can marry in Canada, but they must not celebrate their union in public, it seems.) J. quickly piped in, “Between Tom and Harry [the “obviously” was implied].”

I wonder whether, by the time we left, the serving staff had figured out whose wedding we were celebrating. I had not just married Tom nor J. Harry, since we too are already gaily joined in matrimony. Similarly, the minister and his wife seemed very well heterosexually matched. And the children are a bit young for wedded bliss. That left only Tom and Harry.

People rarely bat an eye when I speak of Jelly’s other mother. But gay husbands and fathers are harder for many to understand. I can only pray such misunderstandings are not a daily occurrence for our dear friends.

In retrospect, I wish I’d clinked my glass loudly, prompting the grooms to demonstrate their love for one another with a mushy kiss. I imagine this simple gesture would have cleared up all of the confusion.

A modern fairy tale

Love conquers hate t-shirt

Once upon a time there were two men. We’ll call them Tom and Harry, because neither one could ever be a Dick. Let’s say they met over a cup of coffee and they fell in love and they settled into a relationship They both had successful careers and they lived in a sweet home, one that had been in the family for generations, along with their various and sundry four-legged friends. But something was missing.

One day they got a call that two young children, siblings, needed a home. So they jumped into action. They bought bunk beds and Kraft dinner, since they were short on time. They took a crash course (self-taught) in being the best parents they could be. One week later, they welcomed these children into their home and their lives. They bought the kids clothes and toys and books and school supplies, because the young’uns hadn’t arrived with much. The wet bar downstairs was quickly transformed into a children’s play area with a dad-constructed full-sized puppet theatre.

Both parents were already accomplished chefs, so they were ready for the sudden onslaught of family meals and children’s lunches. They enrolled the kids in schools and in after-school activities, and they quickly learned how to queue for coveted special-interest camps.

But there were other skills they needed to learn, and learn them they did. In no time, Tom had mastered the art of French braiding and shopping for sparkly clothing while Harry created the perfect Princess cake and carved a watermelon into an impressive shark for a children’s fruit plate. These dads could be counted on for the best home baking at parent-child gatherings. In no time, they were the envy of all the neighbourhood moms, and maybe even a few of the dads.

After devoting several years to raising their children, Tom and Harry decided to do something for themselves and their family: as their 20th anniversary approached, they set a date for their wedding. They’d long been discussing marriage, but their insta-family had delayed their plans. Seven years into parenthood, they called the minister they have known since their children’s christening and asked if he’d have time for a quick union.

And so it came to pass, in the beautiful garden of their inclusive church, the sun shining brightly upon Harry’s bald head, that these two dear friends were married in a moving ceremony. The couple’s love for one another and for their two children was ever apparent. J. and I had the special honour of being their witnesses.

Some people take issue with a wedding between two loving same-sex partners. Others cannot imagine two men as devoted co-parents. I don’t understand those people.

The icing on the cake–there’s always icing on the cake–was the actual icing on the gorgeous and delicious wedding cake that their eldest baked and decorated for them. She has obviously learned from the best. I envision her as an expert baker, perhaps after she completes her engineering degree. This young lass displayed spatial problem-solving skills superior to her very bright parents during the wedding ceremony.

Now that rings have been formally exchanged, I predict that Tom and Harry and their lovely children will all live happily ever after.

The End Beginning, or maybe The Continuation

An open letter to the Calgary Police Service

Dear Calgary Police Service:

I just heard that you have been excluded from marching in uniform in Calgary’s Pride parade this year. You are allowed to march only in civilian clothing but without police vehicles or floats or sidearms. I have read that you plan to attend despite these restrictions to further relations with the LGTBQ community. God bless you for that. In your shoes (are you allowed to wear shoes?), I’d boycott the event altogether.

The Pride organizers still want you there on the sidelines, in uniform, ensuring that everyone is safe. Good thing, since were I to attend, you might have to restrain me from telling the Pride organizers how I feel about their decision.

This decision of exclusion has been made to spare persons of colour the post-traumatic stress that could be triggered by seeing police in uniform. I feel for these people, and I understand relations between police and these groups have been strained, but I do not understand how eliminating your uniforms will aid relations. These marginalized groups will still see you in uniform on the sidelines that day, and on other days patrolling the streets.

I wish I could talk directly to these groups because, as a psychologist, I know this decision will not help them to resolve their PTSD. In fact, the lack of uniformed police presence at this event may only exacerbate these feelings. PTSD is an anxiety disorder not to be taken lightly. Traumatic things happen to people, and, for some, PTSD can be the result. By excluding you, these groups lose the opportunity to see that police are not to be feared in all situations, that they are marching in support of the whole LGTBQ community, of which these groups are a part.

This decision has been made by Calgary Pride organizers, but I do not believe it reflects general consensus of the LGTBQ community. I, for one, do not support it, nor does my wife, nor do any of the Calgarians, LGTBQ or not, that I have spoken with. I have expressed my discontent to Pride Calgary but received only a form letter in response.

I feel sad that I will not be at the Pride parade this year. For many years, I’ve looked forward to attending with friends and supporters. I am there on the sidelines, hooting and hollering and stealing candy from children. I’m also known to tear up when I see all of the brave marchers, especially those in uniform. Once a very kind female officer noticed my tears and stopped to ask me if I was okay. I had to explain to her how grateful I was for CPS’s attendance.

Perhaps I am most sad because, in the past and continuing to this day, LGTBQ people are mocked and maligned and discriminated against for dressing or acting in a way that is not considered within the norm. We have fought so hard for inclusion and Canada especially has made great strides. Sadly (and ironically), this no-uniforms decision is one of exclusion. You deserve better.

Calgarians of all colours and races and orientations are grateful for your service. If our Pride party, now relocating to the backyard, gets out of hand, I’m glad to know that I can always call you.

Annie

When I dare to venture out without an L on my forehead…

It’s been an unusual week as both J. and I have been mistaken for heterosexuals. Maybe this happens more often than we know–“Hey, honey, look at those two gals holding hands. Maybe they’re sisters!”–but we don’t realize it.

You’ll never believe what happened to me. I came out of the gym to find an ad for a Brazilian on my car. No, not that kind of Brazilian. It was for an $80 hair treatment for split ends. Let’s stop right there. Lesbos don’t have split ends. We cut our hair too short. There’s no time between cuts for our ends to split.

Consider this: how many lesbians do you know with long hair? Okay, maybe there are a few. They’re probably friends with the so-called lipstick lesbians; heck, maybe they are the lipstick lesbians! Anyone who uses lipstick has long hair, right? Look at Portia! Sure, maybe Ellen was a cosmetics spokesperson, but I can assure you, her short hair had no split ends. Before you accuse me of stereotyping, I want to remind you that as a member of this group, I retain all stereotyping rights.

So I tossed that notice into the recycling bin, but first I offered it to my long-haired heterosexual neighbour. She declined by saying, “At that price, I’ll stick with my split ends, thanks.”

Then I woke up yesterday morning to a scrap of paper on the counter with a man’s name and number on it. J. had been out late the night before selling lottery tickets for cars at the Stampede. I figured she’d met someone nice in the ticket booth, struck up a conversation, he happened to need someone to marry him (to clarify, I mean “to officiate at his wedding”), so she told him she’d call him. Boy, was I wrong.

J. is quite the little salesgirl. Over two long volunteer shifts, she convinced hundreds of naive people to part with their hard-earned cash. She’ll use any tactic to make a sale. I wonder sometimes whether she fully understands the line between friendly and flirtatious. She told me she had left her wedding band at home that night because of the heat wave. Yeah, right. She must have been batting her mascaraed eyelashes (I said nothing about mascara above) a bit too enchantingly because, some time after she sold a ticket to a very nice fellow, he swung by her ticket booth again. While she was busy trying to entice yet another unsuspecting customer to buy, she noticed this previous buyer leaving her a slip of paper. After finalizing her sale, she read the note and realized that Mr. Starry Eyes had left her his name and telephone number.

(Aren’t you glad I didn’t reveal the name of Mr. Starry Eyes earlier in my story? If I had, I’d have blown the element of surprise. Or had I blown that in the post’s introduction?)

As far as I know, J.’s slip of paper also wound up in the recycling bin. I do feel bad for the poor chap. But what could she do, call to tell him he was barking up the wrong tree? So remember, folks, if someone doesn’t call you, there may be a very good reason.

‘Tis the season for Pride

Picture of Trudeau at Toronto Pride

Summer is Pride season all over, sprinkled with parades and festivities. Calgary’s Pride is a bit late, not arriving until Labour Day weekend. In the meantime, I get to read about celebrations in other cities.

You know I love the Pride parade. I go every year and cry, especially when the first responders of all shapes and stripes and persuasions show their support for our community. Fire, ambulance, military types, and the beloved police all show up in full uniform.

I know that police weren’t always adored by LGTBQ people. There were the bath raids, and the arrests for what was once considered “indecent behaviour”. This bad blood kickstarted the Pride movement many moons ago.

But relations with police have improved dramatically over the years. Police come to the rescue in incidents of gay bashing or other LGTBQ hate crimes. In Calgary, a police committee meets regularly to discuss and address issues within the LGTBQ community. The committee includes police and everyday LGTBQ citizens, fostering a spirit of cooperation and support.

And so when I heard that uniformed police would be excluded from this year’s Pride parade in Toronto, I was not happy. Black Lives Matter disrupted last year’s parade with a sit in, and then pushed for the exclusion of police in uniform. Police could attend out of uniform only, they were told. Now, remember that some of these police are part of the LGTBQ community themselves. How do you think they felt about being excluded? How about all the police who believe in LGBTQ rights and have worked hard to understand the community and support it in their work?

In case you’re wondering, I think black lives matter, a lot. I understand there’s tension between African-Canadians and, moreso, African-Americans and the police, with reason. There have been deaths, some of which have been considered unprovoked and unjustified. Police have been charged with murder, and rightfully so. Sometimes police have not been charged with murder when many believe they should have been. These issues need to be addressed. But I don’t see these issues as relevant to LGTBQ Pride festivities.

Pride parades are intended for people of all sexual and gender minorities to celebrate with their supporters. Those people may be black or white or brown or green (if they drink too much, as is commonplace), young or middle-aged or old, religious or indigenous. There’s even a small Jewish LGTBQ contingent. The many groups that march, assuming they are LGTBQ-identifying groups, deserve their place in the parade.

And then there are groups that are there to march but have nothing to do with the event. They are not supporting Pride; they are pushing their own agenda unrelated to Pride. I don’t agree with these groups’ inclusion in any Pride parade. For example, I’ve seen pro-Palestinian groups march in the parade, not because they’re LGTBQ, but because they’re protesting the current situation in the Middle East. These folks certainly deserve a forum, but they don’t belong at Pride. A group of LGTBQ Palestinians would be more than welcome because they’re there to celebrate Pride.

So there, I’ve said it. Do I have a right to this opinion because I’m white? Maybe not, but I am gay, and I hope that counts for something.

Turns out being born Baptist precludes being born gay, in Alberta at least.

Girl in overalls and plaid shirt

Don’t judge a book by its coveralls.

Not long ago, our fair province had to introduce legislation mandating gay-straight alliances within all schools. If the students request it, schools will allow a safe LGTBQ space for anyone who seeks it. Sure, students shouldn’t have to ask, but at least something is in place if they do.

The Catholic school boards didn’t like the idea initially, but they have found a way to support the ruling within their schools, albeit with a nod to Catholic doctrine. The Baptists, on the other hand, have openly denied their students such a safe space.

To be fair to the Baptists (and I’m always fair, aren’t I?), none of their mostly-elementary-aged children are self-identified as LGTBQ. In this atmosphere of exclusion, even those children who identified as LGTBQ from a young age would shout it from the rooftops, don’t you think? If everyone around you told you that being gay was sinful, do you think you’d risk coming out if you were? Too many LGTBQ youth are homeless because they are kicked out after coming out.

Let me be the one to break the bad news to you, dear Baptists. Let’s say that 1 in 10 or so children fall on the LGTBQ spectrum. (My quick internet research revealed wide variations of this estimate, due partly to people’s reluctance to come out even when asked on anonymous questionnaires.) With 85 kids in their faith-based schools, let’s estimate 8.5 of them fall within a sexual or gender minority. Maybe the extra half indicates a bisexual child (yes, I’m joking; no offence intended, bisexuals).

There’s more bad news, Baptists. Whether or not children self-identify as LGTBQ (and I’m sure you’ve polled all 85 children in your schools, including those in kindergarten), whatever their sexual- or gender difference, they were born with it. Some of your precious little babies came out gay or transgender or whatever, whether or not they (or you) knew it. You may not have wanted them to be, but they were, and they are, and no amount of counselling or censure or denial will change that.

Some children realize from a very young age that they are different, whether or not they can label that difference. I was not aware I was gay from a very young age, although in my favourite picture as a toddler, I was wearing overalls. That would be a sure sign, especially were I wearing a matching plaid shirt, wouldn’t it?

Here’s another piece of enlightening information for the Baptists: one can be well aware of one’s LGTBQness without acting upon it, just as one can be well aware of one’s heterosexuality without having sexual relations with someone of the opposite gender. What is an unrequited high-school crush if not an awareness of one’s sexual proclivities? Are you genuinely worried your Grade 3 gay student will act on his awareness with another boy?

The Alberta government isn’t very happy with the Baptist school board right now for defying their legislation. Meanwhile, the Baptists insist they’re following the law because, since none of their students are gay, they don’t need gay-straight alliances. Wake up and spot the gay students, Baptists. Those students deserve a safe space to gather, especially in your atmosphere of exclusion.

Amen.