Letter: Response to the letters from Jack Bones and Leaf Kotasek in response to the article “Trudeau Marches in Gay Pride …” by Jane Reddington

Tuesday, August 9 2016

First of all, I would like to thank Jack and Leaf for writing such informative letters. I learned a lot from reading both letters. Secondly, I know a tiny, tiny bit about being marginalized. I’m in my sixties now, but when I was about ten years old and living in England I wanted to be a soccer star. My cousin, who was about 20 years older than me, was a great soccer player, and he spent hours with me showing me all the skills I would need to play well. He was terrific and should probably have played professionally, but he was gay, which in those days meant he didn’t have a chance. At first, I didn’t know anything about it. To me he was just my wonderful cousin, who was kind, funny and helpful. Later, when I did understand, it didn’t matter. He was still my wonderful cousin, who was kind, funny and helpful.

When I was in my late teens he would come to visit our family, and sometimes he had been beaten up. It was awful, and I would be furious. When we moved to Canada, we saw less of my cousin, and when we did see him it was clear that he was having a hard time – he was becoming more and more marginalized, there was too much alcohol, and in the end he died probably long before he should have. It was very sad.

In Canada, I believe we are more accepting of differences now, but I’m sure we still have a long way to go. People like Ms. Reddington and me, we’re actually on your side. Jack and Leaf, please be patient with us. 

~ Glen Murphy