Now here is a funny story.The year was 1985-I think. AIDS was all in the news but that is a side-bar.
My cousin Owen, Aunt Alice’s son, was coming to dinner at 1656 Langworthy Street, my house. My Mom had obviously prepared a great dinner and Own said he was bringing a date.That “date” turned out to be “Sean”, a gay, male, black, hairdresser.
Owen and Sean were partners. Holy cannoli, this was a moment. Dad (my Dad) and Sean were “partnered” up in Trivial pursuit. Now you have to know my Dad: yeah he is kind of racist. I mean it is not his fault.
Years ago, when he was 15, his girlfriend was :raped” by a black guy, in Nova Scotia-or so the story goes. So he’s never been fond on the Negro. Ok, whatever.
But that night Dad was very happy with Sean. Sean and him went into Dad’s “gun room” and Dad showed Sean how he made bullets, and “tanned” his own leather, from deer he had shot.
Dad was so pleased that Sean loved his silky leather (and it really was beautiful) that Dad gav ehim a HUGe piece of it.
Sean came out to the diner table, proudly announcing he was gonna make loion cloths (thongs) for all the boys at Wreck Beach, with my Dad’s manly leather.
Cue the Village People:
Oh my goodness. The irony was delicious. My Dad’s macho leather, parading around Wreck Beach with all the gay boys on display. Fantastic.
Just as it should be!!
Well, in 1987 I was pregnant with Olivia and cousin Owen was dying of AIDS in a Vancouver hospital.Auntie Charlotte went to visit him. I was afraid because I was pregnant. It took my hero, Princess Diana, to break the stigma, and show the world that it was ok to visit an AIDS patient. So that’s my story.