listening to CBC’s Q on the radio tuesday night.  In particular, this discussion between a Globe&Mail editorial writer Karim Bardeesy and (I have to quote this) “Head of the University of Toronto’s Mark Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies” Brenda Cossman

You’ve probably seen this rant by Rick Mercer.  If you haven’t go watch it now.  I’m not gay, but it resonated with me.  It reminded of  a great speech by Harvey Milk about how it’s easy it is to demonize gay people when you don’t know any, but when you realize that your friends and neighbours are gay, it becomes harder and harder.  

The Globe and Mail editorial was in response to the Rick Mercer Rant, saying that calling on gay people to come out is a moral obligation too far.  People in public life have to sacrifice so much, we should be able to respect this one privacy.  Not a position I agree with, but not a wholly unreasonable one either.

If you want to get caught up, and really understand, I recommend reading all the material above.

In the Rick Mercer rant, he specifically mentions “Cabinet Ministers” in the litany of types of gay people he knows.  That caught me, because I don’t know of any openly gay Cabinet Ministers. 

In the Q discussion, Karim Bardeesy talks specifically about the risks of coming out to hypothetical Conservative Party politicians.

And I’ve been getting more and more frustrated, because they keep dancing around the not-so-openly gay John Baird.  Nobody even mentions his name, and the multiple times he’s been outed.  Nope, they keep dancing around the issue.  It seems to be what everyone is referring to, but nobody is mentioning it by name.  

Baird even appears in the “it gets better” video that the Conservative Party put out, but he didn’t say it then, when it really mattered.  

I think what really frustrates me is that this should not be an issue, but it is.

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03 November 2011