It was an event to remember.
I started getting involved with the “Pride Network” about two years ago: within the Ontario Public Service there are a number of “networks” that allow coworkers of different interested to communicate and network. The “Pride Network” (OPN) does exactly that, allowing those who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) to stay in contact regarding issues that relate to us as individuals. I had not realized at the time that the group was so young; I had just wanted to connect to the LGBT community in Toronto, and this had seemed like an effective method to do so. Now I’m co-chair of the Outreach Committee, and coordinator of the speaker’s bureau. In fact (also last week) I received an Emerald Award for my work “Speaking About Diversity”.
The tone of the evening was celebration: there was entertainment, a silent auction, and awards to those who had started the network five years ago. A number of dignitaries attended, including two of the current ministers of parliament. Proceeds went to a local charity that helps LGBT youth, caught in the struggle of changing social pressures: Youth Line. The auction items were fun and exciting, perfectly suited for such an auspicious occasion.
The event was open to the public: so it was also covered by “Pride at Work“, an LGBT organization that we’ve become affiliated with. It was one of the first times that my professional colleagues had the opportunity to meet my husband, Tim. For the evening we commandeered one of the local LGBT Community Centres: The 519. They provided the ballroom and the catering, and did an excellent job. We all enjoyed ourselves, and it was a great opportunity to relax among peers. As usual, I was armed with my camera: I hope the resulting photographs convey the twin perspectives of celebration and enjoyment. It’s not often we assemble such a high percentage of the leadership of the network in one place, so it was good to be there.