As most of my readers will know, I am part of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Pride Network, a group within the government of the province intended to promote and encourage the needs of LGBTQ civil servants. Every year at about this time, we have a celebration that marks another year of activity. This year was a very good one for us; the first openly lesbian premier was sworn into office, and we made a number of strides to expand education of issues around the province. So this year, in deciding what to do for our social event at our anniversary, we chose to do a cruise about Lake Ontario.
It was enormously enjoyable: as can be seen from the pictures on my Flickr site. We rented out the vessel and sold tickets for the evening, which were mostly sold. It was our first time doing the event, and a number of us were unsure of how it would go: but it was very fun. Although there was no dinner, a continuous stream of appetizers made their way around the deck, and I think that if there had been any kind of more substantial food provided, it would have conflicted in the focus of the evening. As it was, there was excellent weather and fantastic scenery; although I lived in Toronto when I was young and thus (in total) over half my life, I’ve rarely traveled the Toronto Island area. There was entertainment from Miss Tyffanie Morgan, our cruise drag queen, and the executive sponsor of the Network.
It was an interesting experience for us, many of whom are quintessential introverts. (Perhaps one of the reasons we work for the government?) I recently finished the book, “Quiet”, by Susan Cain, and she described how we introverts learn how to relate best in a world of extroverts (“a world that can’t stop talking”), and this cruise illustrated some of my compensating mechanisms. The primary step, of course, is to hide behind my camera: I got lots of wonderful shots (now on my Flickr account) and they kept me from having to engage in small talk. I would often stumble in to more serious discussions, however, and the cameraman would become a man of opinion. But there were a lot of us like that, so I also managed to welcome and engage some people who seemed a bit separated from the crowd. One thing I will say, however, is that in such a closed environment, it was almost impossible to stay “separated” for very long. So I met a number of new acquaintances, and hopefully some of those will progress to friendships.
Pictures, again, are on my Flickr account.
This is also the first of my Flickr picture sets to have metadata tags, so one can search for pictures of interest. Within this set, for instance, to see pictures that include the city as scenery, search my account for “OPS&Pride&Cruise&scenery&city”: Ian’s Flickr Search. I’ll give more information on that in subsequent posts.