A Few Thoughts On “Pride House”

pride-house-vancouver-2010

You know I wasn’t originally going to write an article on the Pride House in the Vancouver Olympics. “You write for Homorazzi Nic, why wouldn’t you write about THAT?” Fair point, if indeed you did say that which, as you can see, I’m assuming you might’ve. But it just seemed kinda’ dull to write about. I’m so proud of our city for having the first Pride House ever, and I think that’s suitably progressive for Vancouver, not to mention amazing. But have you been there or seen it? It’s kinda’ dull.

Located where Qmunity (formerly The Centre) is, central Davie Village, The Pride House offers a safe haven for gay Olympians, participating members of the community, and pretty much anyone who wants to have a cup of coffee and gab a little. Honestly? I kinda’ expected to have a beer like at the other houses, but that’s cool.

So that was my perspective. And then a friend passed this article onto me from nj.com. My perspective shifted.

See, the article points out that Olympian athletes are actually in general, quite closeted. I never really thought about it. Sure right? They get advertising deals and sponsorship and all the stuff that other athletes get too. Not to mention that a lot of these athletes come from countries that aren’t as open to the idea of sexuality as we have the honour to be. Some of these countries still punish homosexuality with death. The city has also been a shining example, being super supportive of this house. It’s on Vancouver committee’s places to visit list. The IOC has nothing to do with it unfortunately, another example, but this one of a power that could make a difference and chooses not to.

And then the article says this:

They just wonder how long it will be before an actual Olympic athlete walks through the door at 1170 Bute Street in Davie Village.

And my heart breaks a little. And the reality sets in. These wonderful people, including our supportive mayor, and executive director Jennifer Breakspear, keep brewing coffee and fluffing pillows and enjoying each other’s company, in the hopes of, and just in case, an athlete walks through the door and takes it with one cream and two sugars. I think that’s amazing, I think the people involved are doing an amazing thing, and it makes me smile and love the direction my city has been and continues to go in, a little more.

Dave D’Alessandro writes:

The more column inches dedicated to stories such as these, the more conversation about the issue of LGBT rights, and the more visits made by Colbert and the mayor, the more the stigma fades.

Amen. So that’s what I did. And maybe an athlete is reading this and thinking about it. Maybe any human is reading this and thinking about it. And that’s all that matters to me, and to the hopeful people at The Pride House who’re there if anyone needs them.

  • Faye Burger

    Yes. These are all great points, and maybe I am starting to get a little tired of Olympic madness everywhere I turn, but this is refreshing. How amazing of the Pride House to provide heaps of resources, about immigration and Canadian law, for the athletes who may have never had the opprotunities to leave their restrictive and/or homophobic countries.
    Also, my name links up, you forget.

  • I encourage everyone to drop by the Whistler Olympic Pride house. I just interviewed Dean Nelson, the executive director of Pride House the other day. See it here and then take a virtual walk around pride house and Whister at http://blog.virtualwhistler.com/?p=344

  • Nate

    That was a great article… Wish I was there to stop in!

  • Reddishot

    The Pride house in Whistler is’t dull at all. It’s chic and classy maybe a touch off the beaten path but still easily accessible and very welcoming to any person entering the doors for the first time, and you can get that beer, wine or cocktail too. I’m really impressed by the vision of these organisers and the execution, it’s a gift to all of us.