I had only gone to Pride once before this year and it an amazing experience. The title of the event really fits the bill. The riot of colours, the bare skin of all genders and shades, the deafening pop tunes, the pride, was both heartwarming and a bit too much for me.
A lot has changed over the past year for me. A family in crisis. The stress of university. I used studying in order to shut myself off from the world. I wasn’t in a strict Chinese family, it wasn’t even an ideal my family put onto me. It was me pushing myself, thinking the world judged me for lacking something.
Be a man.
It was time I pushed myself into another direction I think.
Fast forwarding, I was offered to walk in Pride instead of just attending. I jumped at the chance but already my mind was through a million thoughts that day. People were going to stare. I was going to be judged. I really needed to pee. I thought about not walking.
But during those two hours I forgot about being nervous. We laughed and we danced and we sang ol’ ditties, all while walking down Yonge street. I shouted and waved my tiny rainbow flags at young white men and old Asian grannies alike.
And I realised something. Nobody was really judging me. The sea of people on either side of the canal that was us were here for the same reason I was. They also waved their waves, also shouted.
I showed my Pride and in turn they accepted me for who I was. By the end my voice was shot- yet I still kept shouting.