Our elders don’t cling to convention; they run from it. And for good reason. In 1981, on a taxpayer-funded mission estimated to have cost a quarter of a million dollars, police carrying crowbars and sledgehammers raided bath houses in Toronto’s gay village, forcing nude and nearly naked men onto the streets, where more than 300 LGBT people were arrested. Bik describes the night as “terrible.” Anyone wondering why some gay people at Pride are so “in your face” should look to events like these for an answer. (…)
There is no greater proof of how lucky I am than the ease with which I once winced at the unlucky: buck-naked old men who wear nothing with as much defiant pride as our veterans wear the poppy on Remembrance Day—buck-naked men, to whom I owe almost everything. This year, I won’t wince. I’ll salute.