Pride, Smoking, and Choice

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post is from Lindsay Marie McAllister. Lindsay works for an anti-poverty non-profit agency as the Program Coordinator. Lindsay currently lives in a small town in Northern Ontario in Canada with her two dogs and partner. You can follow her on Twitter @LindzMcAllister.

Last weekend was Pride in Toronto, Ontario, a week after the similar event in New York and the passing of same-sex marriage in the state. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of Stonewall as the political nature of the event is becoming more threatened each year, especially under the new Toronto mayor. Mayor Rob Ford failed to show support by spending the weekend at his cottage instead of with the LGBTQ community as past mayors have done.

Being a resident of Northern Ontario, I had to travel to Toronto in order to participate in the festivities. My friend had booked a hotel room for us and I was responsible for getting us there. Here is where the story really begins … He struggled to even find us a hotel because we are both smokers and as it turns out, most hotels do not permit smoking at all anymore. The one we both normally stay at other times of the year was fully booked for almost a year in anticipation of Pride. He managed to find another hotel which promised suite type accommodations, complete with a kitchenette. We arrived and were informed that “the smoking floor” had not yet been renovated, and needless to say it was painfully obvious. The rooms were dirty and the air conditioning barely functioned. It makes sense to keep all the smoking rooms on the same floor out of consideration for the other guests, but to have these rooms literally be second class seems a bit unfair. [Read more...]

Judith Butler Protests Homonationalism

Feminist theory icon, Judith Butler caused a scene a Berlin Pride in Germany last week by refusing to accept their “Courage” award and calling the organizers out for being associated with Homonationalist movements/sympathizers. You can watch the speech here (she’s speaking in German, so you’ve got to read the subtitles). When a friend posted this link on facebook I had to read it for two reasons, the same reasons I share it with you… [Read more...]