I believe in love. I am fully, completely, and with a giddy, fluttery heart in love with love.
It’s hard for me to explain how important it is for me to know that. My heart has been through a lot lately, and it would be easy to let cynicism guide me. It wasn’t a delivery of a dozen roses or a new guy though that reminded me of the power of love, but an invitation to march in the Ottawa Capital Pride parade. What better place to find affirmation for living and loving wholeheartedly than amongst a group of people celebrating love?
I was a little worried as I headed out the door alone to march in the Capital Pride Parade with staff from Rogers Ottawa. Hahaha, I’m sorry, I can’t even say that with a straight face. I actually wasn’t worried in the slightest, in fact I was stoked after years of seeing images and videos from pride parades around the globe.
The reality is that the LGBTQ community is filled with the most welcoming people on the planet, and yesterday’s march felt like a giant group hug. The whole purpose of pride events are to spread the love and break down barriers and in Ottawa, in particular, they are doing an amazing job with over 100,000 people attending this year’s parade. I had tears of joy behind my rainbow sunglasses the entire parade route.
I was filled with pride (pun totally intended) marching through the Ottawa streets and seeing the people who came out in droves to cheer on and support our LGBTQ community. I was also equally as proud to see our recently out Mayor Jim Watson, casually walking down the street stopping to say hi to parade attendees. To me, this was my Ottawa at its very best; joyful, grateful, inclusionary, and loving.
Even when we marched by the one hater who couldn’t help but shout his backwards objections, he was drowned out by cheers of love from parade attendees. Love always wins. Always.
I am ashamed to admit this was my first time attending the Capital Pride Parade, but it won’t be my last. Now more than ever, I understand the importance of lending my voice and my heart to a group that is still marginalized, and still fighting for acceptance. As an ally, I need to continue to show up, to push hate back into the corners, and to never let someone lose their rights to love who they want.
So today I am basking in the afterglow of the Capital Pride Parade, and so happy to know that Ottawa is also in love with love.
Special thanks to Rogers for inviting me to join them in this years Capital Pride Parade. I am proud to be an ambassador for a company that supports the LGBTQ+ community 365 days a year. #MoreLove #KissWhoYouWant Also, thank you for helping me check off an item on my #50for50 list!