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I am different now

I am different now

It was convenient for me to be privileged and unconnected to the woes of the world

Privilege is the ability to decide wether something pertains to you

Boil water advisories are for poor and indigenous people

Homelessness is for those who made bad choices

Floods were the plague of trailer parks and those who couldn’t afford the view suits

As I stand waist deep in water of affluence, I wonder what “privileged” system turned on the taps

Was I asleep at the wheel?

Did I not listen to the public municipal zoning discussions about building in the forest zone vulnerable to fires, or building approvals in the flood plains? Did those indigenous wisdom keepers get ignored; were they invited?

Was I numb to the killing of bears who “invaded” “our space”? Or was I one of those who “blamed the deer” for grazing in what once was their natural lands.

As I stand blood stained, blisters on hand, wet and tired, I think I am different now.

As I wipe my sweaty brow, and I pack the last sand bag, I can say, I am different now.

I am one of those who are a piece of the land, who is responsible for current disasters and have choices for future impacts. Every single decision matters. Didn’t someone say “be the change”? Does this mean I have to “put down my extra hot, non-fat, no foam, vanilla latte and vote for progressive leaders”? Didn’t “someone else do this?”

My voice will carry the voice of a thousand song birds; I am living a reality of the “delusion” of what I thought others were supposed to do”.

I am different now

Carl

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I was born June 13, 1967. I was raised in the town of Port Coquitlam, BC within metro Vancouver. I was a non-conventional boy winning awards for choreography, dance, and led many school performance numbers before grade 6. I also competed as a figure skater and was notorious for doing cart wheels on the ice. I was bullied all through my school years and ended up going to 3 different High Schools and didn't graduate from High School as a result. This was the era of no Gay Rights in Canada. I struggled with visibility, identity and self-esteem. I am one of the lucky survivors as most of my friends died of AIDS or committed suicide. I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1993 and it was one of the proudest achievements in my lifetime. It taught me that despite hardships, I could overcome insurmountable challenges. I am committed to making the world more compassionate and doing my part by celebrating LGBTQ contributions to the world. Every year my husband and I host a Fall Gala for 'Out in Schools' called the 'Fall Gala". Part of this vision is to make sure every student in BC has the opportunity to see their self worth through LGBTQ visibility, support and action to make the world safe for everyone. In my professional life, I am a Registered Nurse and a Health Services Administrator in Health Care. I live with my husband and our dog Ted in Penticton BC

2 Comments

  1. Tanya Kellahan says

    This has got to be one of the most heart felt poems I’ve ever read. So relevant and real. I will read it 100 more times before the weekend. Love that you’re starting a blog! I’m proud to know you since we were children. I love you and Les so very much. Thank you for sharing Carl xo

    Like

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