Thursday, February 4, 2010


So many times, I get the feeling that where I live isn’t on the map. It’s certainly not on the gaydar. But, thankfully, life isn’t all about being gay and every so often my little community stands out. Today, the Olympic torch comes to town.

In British Columbia, complaining about the Olympics has hit new heights as lifelong Half Empties have been in a fog since this wacky winter has knocked weather from the top of the complaint agenda. (I lost a glove about a month ago—it’s no doubt hiding out with a few odd socks—but there has been no urgency in purchasing a new pair.) I understand the critics, but I do hope the Olympics are a resounding success. And one thing that warrants commendation is the effort VANOC has made to permit as many people as possible to have the opportunity to see the torch firsthand. It’s the only “live” event most of was will experience.

To be sure, the torch didn’t need to get sidetracked coming to my area. But on this balmy day when the sun is shining and snow dusts the mountains across the water, it makes for an idyllic setting. Sitting in the local library, I can view the marina and the main stretch of town where the torch will journey. The arrival is an hour and a half away, but the excitement builds as musicians set up and people stroll through the park, many decked in red, a public fashion choice that usually makes me want to gag on bad Valentine’s chocolate. People mingle in the library as well, putting in time, having nabbed a prime parking space in advance of the big event.

In this moment, pride is inescapable. Not gay pride, not national pride, but a sense of connectedness to a charming little town that at other times has made me feel so isolated. Yes, the torch is but a symbol or perhaps a tool, allowing me to see my environment in a sunny light. That, in itself, is an Olympian achievement.

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