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31 March 2006 @ 12:04 pm
Welcome  
My name is Jake and I live in Toronto. I have created this community in order to provide a free, safe forum for Canadians and non-Canadians alike to talk, share, discuss and reach out to others, both in their own country and elsewhere. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, GSA stands for Gay Straight Alliance. It is my hope that this GSA Canada LiveJournal Community will bring people together from all walks of life, ethnic groups, age ranges, genders and orientations with the express purpose of creating dialogue, opening minds, challenging preconceptions and breaking down barriers.

One of the most groundbreaking films of our time, Brokeback Mountain, has created a strong impetus towards opening channels of communication between gay and straight people, and I am eager to build on this foundation. I am starting with my own country as it seems to me that Canada has a reputation for being more liberal, more "gay-friendly" than other nations - after all, same-sex marriage is legal here, and our national Charter of Rights & Freedoms guarantees freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This may indeed be true in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but what about the rural areas of Canada? Are you free to be "out and proud" in Crossfield, Alberta for example? How about Northern Ontario? What is it like to be a gay male teen attending school in somewhere like Englehart or Smooth Rock Falls?

GSA Canada seeks to serve as a sounding board, listening post, agony column, sympathetic ear and discussion forum for issues surrounding the central theme of sexual orientation. Above all, we seek to actively promote understanding and acceptance between gay and straight people, and to encourage straight people to join in the spirit of community in order to create strong bonds between gay and straight persons. We are all the richer for sharing, learning and supporting each other in the struggle to evolve into better human beings.

My hope is that by creating strong alliances between gay and straight people in our own communities, we can present a united front against those who seek to undermine the progress that has been made in the fight for freedom and equality for all persons. Gender and orientation should be irrelevant to politics and policy and to community and society - who we choose to love should have no consequences upon our lives as human beings.

Please feel free to post questions, problems, ideas, streams of consciousness, odd ravings, rants, et al. If you have a particular problem, please enter the subject line "Agony" and I will answer to the best of my ability. Others are of course free to, and indeed, encouraged to, post comments in response to Agony postings as well - the more advice the better and I certainly do not claim to have all the answers!

There ain't no reins on this one.

Sincerely,

Jake
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on March 31st, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
fruits of BBM
"It is my hope that this GSA Canada LiveJournal Community will bring people together from all walks of life, ethnic groups, age ranges, genders and orientations with the express purpose of creating dialogue, opening minds, challenging preconceptions and breaking down barriers." ___________________ This beautiful mountain is already beginning to bear fruits. Congratulations. Love ya Mario Izigson
adistantsea on April 3rd, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
Re: fruits of BBM
wow, my first visitor! thank you so much. :)

please feel free to post any thoughts or comments you like - let's grow this community!

Steph: thundersweill on June 7th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
You have my sympathy regarding your Prime Minister.
Thank goodness, it looks like the US Senate has some sense 'cause everyone knows our President doesn't.
I have a 9 year old son and I hope that, by the time its an issue for him, none of his friends (or MINE!) face discrimination because of who they love.
Good luck, Jake.
Floralyrabelaqua2000 on June 7th, 2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm from the UK, and though same sex marriage is legal, there's still a lot of discrimination - only this morning I was reading an article about how the word "gay" is used to mean uncool, all over britain. Is it the same in the US and Canada? I don't use it, because although straight myself, I have many gay friends and am an avid Brokeback mountain fan ^_^ I think it's one of those stupid fear things, and I really hope people stop being dumb about it, particularly those in power.
*would like to sue all homophobes for discrimination*
I think this is a great thing you've done, bringing people together. I shall tell people and spread the word :)
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous) on June 7th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
Support
Canadian brothers and sisters - stay strong. You shall overcome.

Ariel Now,
London
enaescananenaescanan on June 8th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
fabulous name! Much Love.
(Anonymous) on June 8th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
Same-sex marriage debate ... again ...
I am Canadian. I had been proud that our Country had taken a position to extend the basic civil right of marriage to same-sex couples. When it appeared during the last Federal election that a change in government was inevitable, the best I could hope for with my vote was to keep it to a minority government, so that perhaps some balance could be maintained, and good sense might prevail.

At this point, I am deeply ashamed of the Harper government. They give Parliment 6 hours to decide whether or not to extend by two years our commitment to sending troops overseas, but they will whip the country into a needless debate for 6 MONTHS to rehash an issue that has already be decided by the people!

The de-evolution of our society can't be permitted to come to pass. Following the last Federal election I had written to my MP, a proponent of gay rights, expressing my concerns and offering my support. I will be writing and calling her again, now that the battle is about to be engaged - needlessly, but there it is.

It is difficult to comprehend, in a world of political correctness where hate crimes are decried everywhere as vile, that there is still a portion of society refusing to recognize their mistreatment of our gay population is just that - a hate crime. Colour it as you will, that is how I see it.

Thanks to Brokeback Mountain I've met wonderful people - gay, straight and bi - who are all working in ways large and small to make this world a better place for all people, where sexual orientation is a non-issue. Toppling this government's agenda to send us back to the dark ages will be one more step we will take. And I believe .. we will win!




adistantsea on June 8th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
Wow
i'm blown away by the number of people who responded. and i only cross-posted to one community!

please, friends, feel free to chat here, or ask questions, on any subject(s) relevant to the issues facing same-sex partnerships, relationships, and in particular i would encourage straight people to enter into dialogue and friendship with people of alternate orientation, so that we can be as one, strong, united voice against those who seek to divide and alienate.

thank you for your support!

sincerely,

jake

katbcollkatbcoll on June 8th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
Here I keep hoping that my "neighbors to the north" are smarter. Well, okay I keep hoping that their politicians are. *G* Know the people are.

Honestly, when did love become about gender and not soul? Yeah, I know. Old cynic here.

I hope that Harper and his followers aren't able to succeed. Hell, I hope that Bush and his cronies don't succeed either.

Just gonna keep voting and crossing my toes that somehow it changes things.
suspiciously normal...just1tearforme on June 8th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
No, no, no Canada. You are supposed to be the free, funloving North American country that is sane and so not America. If you stop being the Canada I know and love where else am I going to call home away from home? You're the land of hockey, Labatt's, and Air Farce, along with tons of other things, not America's mini-me. So come on Canadian legislators, get your heads back where they belong and remember you can think for yourself. Here's hoping you sort this out properly.
babykid528babykid528 on June 8th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
I think this is such a great community to make adistantsea! I remember sitting in my AP US HIstory class three years ago when my teacher started saying how amazing it was that the progress on the issue of Gay Marriage was moving so quickly in our judicial system as compared to other civil rights movements of the past. I hate how any kind of civil rights topic is expected to take so long, and I know that gay rights has always been a problem since the beginning of time, just like woman's rights and Black rights! America is ridiculous when it comes to Gay Rights. I live in NY, consider myself bisexual, and my best friend is definitely bisexual, most of my guy friends are gay...Sexual orientation is no more important than skin color and gender when it comes to being given basic human rights. It saddens and sickens me that so many people are so ignorant to that fact. I am so happy to hear how open Canada is compared to here in the US, and I definitely don't want Canadian Prime Minister heading in Bush's direction!!! haha!
♥Annie
discarded debrisdiscardeddebris on June 8th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
Hey.. just checking in from Saskatchewan. I just have a link for anyone who'd like some more centralisied place to read up on the it or to email their MP (or all the MPs) and that sort of thing -- http://www.equal-marriage.ca/ If you sign up for their email list, it only comes out every few weeks.
adistantsea on June 8th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
wow, that's great, thanks so much for this.

*runs to add name to mailing list*
verisimilit_deverisimilit_de on June 8th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
I don't think that gay marriage should even be an issue! Stupid Stephen Harper. This has already been decided. And even so, the government has no right to dictate to people who they can and cannot love and marry. I may be a straight Canadian, but I don't see that any Canadians should have different rights than others. If gay people are discriminated against it's bad for everyone because we are a collective of people. There is no 'us' and 'them' it's all just 'us.' I'm so angry that the conservative government is doing this to us.

Great idea for a community, by the way!
adistantsea on June 8th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
hey thanks and go sign the petition, and email the MPs!!

http://www.equal-marriage.ca

emkaytwelve on June 8th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
Hey Jake,

I'm from The Netherlands, also a 'gay friendly' country, (or so it seems).
The Dutch ambassador in Estonia, Hans Glaubitz, is leaving for Canada. According to Glaubitz, his husband (a black man from Cuba) has been a victim of homophobia and racism for over a year. I don't think this kind of stuff will happen in Canada, but I'm not amused by Harper's intentions.
Things are also changing in Holland. Our christian prime-minister for example doesn’t approve of gay marriage (and abortion, and euthanasia). I think these victories will not be reversed easily, but you never know. It makes me sad that gay people can’t walk hand in hand in the streets of Amsterdam anymore. They are being yelled and spit at.
We have a ‘lazy’ gay movement because of the relative acceptance of the Dutch. Most gay people seem to think that there is nothing left fighting for now that gay people can get married and have kids. I must admit, sometimes I’m one of them. On the other hand I think that acceptance is not a moment, but rather an ongoing process. If you don’t fight for it constantly, it will fade away eventually. So it seems that activism, in one way or another, is always neccesary. You’re doing a good job. I’m still a bit too lazy, maybe it’s time for a kick in the butt! Your LJ certainly helps ;-)
If you can't stand it, you gotta fix it...

Love, Marjolein
samtyrsamtyr on June 8th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Saying hi from the US. This just goes to show why all of us need to remain politically active. It's going to be a long road ahead, I'm afraid.
(Anonymous) on June 9th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)
I am with you wholeheartedly. i would also like to point out that the situation of gay people in Poland is even worse - during an annual demonstration for their rights last year (it was banned by the authorities as IMMORAL btw) they were attacked by the police. This year the parade is legal (thank God). it takes palce tomorrow 10 of June and the member of the government in Poland announced that the demonstrators should be beaten with baseball bats.
it is just so sad - but i hope one day people will see sense.