Happy Canada Day!
I love this country. Even with Harper (ugh), and even with our current track record of falling far short of what we used to stand for ecologically speaking (double ugh, and also Harper), and various other concerns, the fact remains Canada is pretty much the best country in the world for queer folks like me. This isn't something that has just happened, there's been resistance and frustrations every step of the way - and one third of Canadians polled still think gay folks shouldn't be allowed to marry - but that's two thirds of the country who realize that gay people are people.
I'm not minimizing the bad that happens - believe me, I know it happens. And I'm not saying that the fight is over. But today, it's nice to just sit back and be happy that I live in a place that's this wonderful, and continues to become more so, year over year.
"Gutter Ball," by Danielle Pignataro
This story, found in Speaking Out, is a solid entry in the collection of stories featuring youth LGBTQ characters. What I know about bowling would fit on the back of a postage stamp in 12 point font, but the bowling competition that sets the backdrop of this story isn't the heart of the matter.
Angela is the lesbian at the centre of this story, a young woman who - as she puts it - can't help but be out. People take one glance, and know. So when the member of a rival bowling team starts to toss some hatred her way in the form of first a comment and then a note (complete with spelling and grammar errors) Angela realizes that this is a start, not an end.
The war of words (and Angela's classy response to the notes, which made me laugh) and then actions grows, and it all flows towards the final round of the bowling competition, where soon the lines have been formed and what started with a single comment has grown to an all-out protest. It's a wonderful progression, Angela's voice is strong (and perfectly teen-aged) and yet the narrative never quite devolves into a happy fantasy. There's a gritty realism here, and the whole thing ends on a perfect note.