Standing Up For What’s Right!
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Team Canada #OneTeam
2013 was the first time Team Canada asked athletes to partake in Canadian Pride Parades. When I was asked it was a no brainer, if I was in town I was going. 2013 was an interesting time for Olympic Athletes with Putin enforcing new laws and in June and the Olympic Games happening in Sochi in February 2014.
“in June 2013, a federal law criminalizing the distribution of materials among minors in support of “non-traditional” sexual relationships, was enacted as an amendment to an existing child protection law. The law has resulted in the numerous arrests of Russian LGBT citizens publicly opposing the law and there has reportedly been a surge of homophobic propaganda, violence, and even hate crimes, many of whom use the law as justification.” LGBT rights in Russia, Wikipedia
I remember being interviewed by CBC, CTV, BTV at the 2013 Parade, myself and Michael Janyk(Olympic skier) berated with questions of why are we walking, how do we feel about going to Russia. To be honest I was so mad about the situation in Russia, when was there all I wanted to do was show my support for my teammates and friends and wear a LGBT pin, but being in another country with different laws we had to think about our security first.
Why Do I Walk?
If I’m in Vancouver at the time of the Pride Parade, I always take the time to participate, it doesn’t cross my mind to do anything other than that. This was my third time walking, I’m proud to have grown up in a time and country where I don’t second guess that love is love. I’m proud to walk with friends that share the same feeling and stand up for what’s right to stand up for my friends that have been shunned from their families.
I can’t speak for the LGBT community, but I’m here to support, listen and stand up for what’s right. My teammate and friend John Fennel writes it perfectly, #OneTeam. Fennell recalls feeling so free and accepted that he thought to himself, “this is what it means to be part of Team Canada.”
With all the hate that is going on in the world right now, I’m proud to stand up for what’s right. I hope to inspire others to do the same!
Link to Team Canada instagram takeover, Aug. 6th 2017
Team Canada’s #OneTeam Video