PRIDE PARADE 2014: FERENCE STEPS UP

Robin Brownlee
June 07 2014 11:21AM

AndrewFerence

It goes without saying, or most certainly should, that people should not be judged based on the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their religion or their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, we aren't there yet.

That's what makes Andrew Ference's decision to March in Edmonton's Pride Parade in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender community (LGBT) today so commendable.

In a world that has yet to fully come to grips with accepting people for who they are, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers is stepping forward as a man who performs in a fraternity that struggles as much or more as any segment of our society with male sexuality.

When a player, Ference, who makes his living playing a tough game against tough men in the NHL chooses to participate in a parade celebrating diversity, it's still newsworthy. One need only type "Edmonton Pride Parade 2014" into Google's search engine to know that – six of the first 10 results I got this morning were in reference to Ference taking part.

It is news. I look forward to the day when it's not.

MAKING A STATEMENT

ference

Even today, acceptance of sexual orientation is far from universal, be it here in Edmonton or anywhere else. Are we making progress? Absolutely, as a 55-year-old man who is old enough to remember a very different era when attitudes toward race, religion and sexual orientation – mine included – were different, I can say that with confidence.

It's also obvious, given the mistreatment of others that still makes headlines on a daily basis somewhere, old attitudes remain today in varying degrees. In my neighborhood. In your neighborhood. Certainly in the culture of the NHL. It is news, then, when Ference takes part, becoming the first member of the Oilers to do so.

Jen Scrivens, wife of Oiler goaltender Ben Scrivens, will march today. Former Oiler Georges Laraque has marched in Montreal. Manny Malhotra and Jason Garrison have marched in Vancouver. In 2011, Sean Avery came out in favor of equal marriage rights in New York. Brian Burke has marched. Burke's son Patrick started the You Can Play initiative in 2012 after brother Brendan died in an automobile accident in 2010.

"Making sure that (LGBT) youth know they have allies at the pro level, or whether it’s a teammate who might be thinking about coming out, or whatever it is, we want to make sure that it’s an accepting environment for everyone," Ference told the Edmonton Journal. "I know most of my teammates and guys around the league line up with the same kind of belief."

LEADING THE WAY

lead-by-example

Yes, most but not all. In that, the NHL is no different than the rest of society. My neighborhood. Your neighborhood. For all of the progress made since I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and 70s, for how we more often embrace our brothers and sisters for what they are rather than what we think they should be, we still have a long way to go.

Players like Andrew Ference will help get us there. That's what leaders do.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 JSR
June 07 2014, 06:20PM
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I have no problems with other people's beliefs, orientations, etc. My only issue is the way people choose to promote their beliefs and orientations. I don't think a parade is necessary, straight people don't resort to this...

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#52 ThatButthurtOilersFan
June 07 2014, 06:26PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

I'll actually be writing about the draft party tomorrow! If there's time between Gagner/Bucky/Draft articles, of course.

There's a party for the draft? I guess we truly are Oilers fans...

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#53 The Soup Fascist
June 07 2014, 06:31PM
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JSR wrote:

I have no problems with other people's beliefs, orientations, etc. My only issue is the way people choose to promote their beliefs and orientations. I don't think a parade is necessary, straight people don't resort to this...

No straight parades? Now things are making sense!

I had my suspicions about all those cowboys in the Calgary Stampede Parade ..... Plus those Shriners. The purple hats should have been a dead give away.

Thanks for being the voice of reason.

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#54 Hockey Viking
June 07 2014, 06:34PM
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Thanks Robin for your well written article on a subject that always seems to bring a few n'ere do wells out the woodwork. Ference is showing leadership for marching in the Pride Parade to give hope that we all can move past the bias and bigotry. You are also showing leadership in choosing to write about these matters. Bravo to you both!

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#55 JSR
June 07 2014, 06:45PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

No straight parades? Now things are making sense!

I had my suspicions about all those cowboys in the Calgary Stampede Parade ..... Plus those Shriners. The purple hats should have been a dead give away.

Thanks for being the voice of reason.

These groups are not running around saying anything about being straight, just promoting there events and clubs...

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#56 Spydyr
June 07 2014, 06:48PM
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If any player helps my team to the playoffs I could care less about their race ,religion,sexual orientation or any other intangible.

If you help my team win I will cheer for you. If you don't I will want you gone.

Easy as that.

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#58 Dan 1919
June 07 2014, 06:52PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

No straight parades? Now things are making sense!

I had my suspicions about all those cowboys in the Calgary Stampede Parade ..... Plus those Shriners. The purple hats should have been a dead give away.

Thanks for being the voice of reason.

Calgary Stampede and Shriners are in no way a straight parade, people of all races and sexual preferences are more than welcome there... possibly the most ridiculous comparison made in these comments.

Just because someone is not 100% on board and does not blindly support anything a minority says does not mean they are any less entitled to their opinions than you are with your support; so long as there is not actual disrespect/hatred to the minority group.

Personally when my friend came out of the closet, I wasn’t proud of him at all, just as I’m not proud of my straight friends for being straight, I couldn't care less.

I also think a Gay Pride Parade is ridiculous, so I won’t attend, just as I’d think a Straight Pride Parade would be ridiculous (bunch of guys walking down the street high giving because they’re straight, making out with hot chicks and drinking beer?)

Does the Gay Pride Parade make me mad? Not even a little bit. This is Canada, if they wan’t a parade, all the power to them. It just doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it and think it’s an awesome idea.

Have respect for everyone’s opinions so long as they’re not racist/prejudice.

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#59 The Soup Fascist
June 07 2014, 07:01PM
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JSR wrote:

These groups are not running around saying anything about being straight, just promoting there events and clubs...

My point is that for the most part our society is geared towards those of us who are straight and have a traditional view of what "family" is.

If the LGBT community wants to celebrate their successes and bring attention to their challenges once a year, who are we to judge? If you have issues or concerns ..... Don't go. Certainly that is your right.

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#60 The Soup Fascist
June 07 2014, 07:02PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

Calgary Stampede and Shriners are in no way a straight parade, people of all races and sexual preferences are more than welcome there... possibly the most ridiculous comparison made in these comments.

Just because someone is not 100% on board and does not blindly support anything a minority says does not mean they are any less entitled to their opinions than you are with your support; so long as there is not actual disrespect/hatred to the minority group.

Personally when my friend came out of the closet, I wasn’t proud of him at all, just as I’m not proud of my straight friends for being straight, I couldn't care less.

I also think a Gay Pride Parade is ridiculous, so I won’t attend, just as I’d think a Straight Pride Parade would be ridiculous (bunch of guys walking down the street high giving because they’re straight, making out with hot chicks and drinking beer?)

Does the Gay Pride Parade make me mad? Not even a little bit. This is Canada, if they wan’t a parade, all the power to them. It just doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it and think it’s an awesome idea.

Have respect for everyone’s opinions so long as they’re not racist/prejudice.

See above.

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#61 Racki
June 07 2014, 07:06PM
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JSR wrote:

These groups are not running around saying anything about being straight, just promoting there events and clubs...

I think the point of these parades is completely lost on you, and that's fine. They exist to make people who are LGBT comfortable in their own skin. We all know it is hard for some of them to come out and express their sexuality, because every once in a while someone comes out, and you wonder "what took so long?". Some hide their relationships in secret because of worry about what their family/friends/public will say. This is perpetuated by some strong religious groups quite often, but not just by them. There's definitely people who act violently towards them, whether it's mental or physical violence.

Anyways, the parade is obviously meant as a way for everyone to show support for that community of people and Ference's actions are meant to help educate everyone else. You don't have to support or even understand it. I think acceptance is gaining a lot of steam lately, which is great. Maybe one day, the parade will be unnecessary and stop happening. I don't think the world is there yet. I'm happy that Canada is a country that is generally quite open to LGBT, whereas there are definitely still major parts of the US that are not.

The Ference story is big news (even though we all would like it to no longer be "news") because it's not often that you see a public statement like that (i.e. from a celebrity) that is straight. It encourages others to take part and show that they don't care what a person's sexual beliefs are.

Anyways, as a white, 30s man, who typically is as non-minority as it gets, I don't really ever face any sort of discrimination like these people would, so I don't quite feel the need for a parade of my own. I'm guessing that all the people raising a stink over this have never faced any form of discrimination either. I don't really see what the harm is in the parade, but I do see the good in it.

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#62 baggedmilk
June 07 2014, 07:13PM
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@Racki

This guy gets it. Congrats, sir!

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#63 Dan 1919
June 07 2014, 07:14PM
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My favourite parades are the “traditional” ones where everyone goes (straights, gays, blacks, whites...) and the fire trucks hand out candy to the kids and the entire thing is just for the single idea of building community and getting everyone outside on a nice summer day.

There seems to be politics everywhere nowadays...

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#65 Racki
June 07 2014, 07:34PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Today's parade included people from all the groups you mentioned with the express intent of building community. What's the issue?

The problem is today's pride had signs that said "no coloureds or straight people allowed", and Andrew Ference was let in through the back door (pun mostly not intended). Oh wait.. that didn't really happen.

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#66 The Soup Fascist
June 07 2014, 07:37PM
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It has just dawned on me to wonder if the organizers of the Pride Parade were concerned that a member of an organization that hasn't made the playoffs for 8 years wanted to participate.

"We're sorry Mr. Ference, we appreciate your offer, but having a member of such a crappy team participating in our event would send the wrong message to our supporters"

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#67 oilers2k10
June 07 2014, 07:44PM
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If a man wants to cuddle with another man instead of a pretty woman with smooth shapely hips and beautiful breasts then all the power to him...but why does it have to be front page news or have a billion blogs written about it everytime? Whatever..be happy.

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#68 bazmagoo
June 07 2014, 08:10PM
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@Racki

Well said sir

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#69 dq
June 07 2014, 08:22PM
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JSR wrote:

I have no problems with other people's beliefs, orientations, etc. My only issue is the way people choose to promote their beliefs and orientations. I don't think a parade is necessary, straight people don't resort to this...

I believe people are missing the point. "Parades" are a way to state that you're proud, and not ashamed - despite what many in society would have you believe. So until we've reached equality (we've come close ... but have a long ways to go), there's good reason for the GLBT community to get out and shout. in a very peaceful way As a straight man, in a straight relationship, society already embraces my sexual orientation ... so I have no need to broadcast that I'm proud of this choice ... so obviously don't need to "resort" to marching in a straight parade.

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#70 JSR
June 07 2014, 08:28PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

So what? Your point is what, exactly? Andrew Ference isn't a group, he's a person. Jen Scrivens isn't a group, she's a person. Don Iveson isn't a group, he's a person. "These groups" sounds a lot like "these people." We know how that conversation goes.

My point is...I don't run around saying, "look at me, I'm straight, I'm straight." Why can't people just take people for who they are, gay or straight? I don't think a parade is needed, in either case, straight or gay.

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#71 Ca$h-Money!
June 07 2014, 08:32PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

If a man wants to cuddle with another man instead of a pretty woman with smooth shapely hips and beautiful breasts then all the power to him...but why does it have to be front page news or have a billion blogs written about it everytime? Whatever..be happy.

Read Racki's reply. Also, because people still get curb stomped for being gay, but no one does for being straight. Perhaps most importantly, because the suicide rate for gay teenagers is substantially higher than it is for straight teenagers.

The parade helps a community of people take pride in something that so many people try to make them feel shame for. That's why the name emphasizes the word pride. If people were routinely shamed for being straight there would be a straight pride parade. We are fortunate not to need one.

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#72 Fan on the Edge
June 07 2014, 09:09PM
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I commend the support Ference showed my marching in the Parade. I dont care what other people do in their bedrooms...and hopefully I will live my life not being judged for the freaky stuff I do in mine.

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#73 Reg Dunlop
June 07 2014, 09:10PM
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It seems like this topic is one I should stay away from but... as long as there are no clowns in the parade I am ok with it. Clowns scare me.

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#74 Wax Man Riley
June 07 2014, 09:37PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

So what? Your point is what, exactly? Andrew Ference isn't a group, he's a person. Jen Scrivens isn't a group, she's a person. Don Iveson isn't a group, he's a person. "These groups" sounds a lot like "these people." We know how that conversation goes.

I love the last 2 sentences , Robin. Just wanted it posted again.

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#75 Wax Man Riley
June 07 2014, 09:42PM
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I also just want to point out one piece of this excellent article:

Even today, acceptance of sexual orientation is far from universal, be it here in Edmonton or anywhere else. Are we making progress? Absolutely, as a 55-year-old man who is old enough to remember a very different era when attitudes toward race, religion and sexual orientation – mine included – were different, I can say that with confidence.

I think it takes courage and is also a sign of progress for someone to say they have changed. Especially in print, on a public forum.

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#76 Quicksilver ballet
June 07 2014, 09:43PM
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We shouldn't be surprised he's the captain. The guy certainly isn't afraid to put himself out there.

The road less travelled has always appealed to Andrew. Might have something to do with his decision to become an Oiler, when few would invite such a challenge.

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#77 Kypreos
June 07 2014, 10:03PM
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Most people are talking hockey and Oilers Nation is talking gay pride. Maybe Ference should focus on his hockey....

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#78 dvasteroid
June 07 2014, 10:05PM
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This is a good example of the problem with the oilers...to much emphasis on good people over good hockey players. I'm happy for Andrew. ..he's clearly a good dude, but, oil will stagnant with him as captain o capitan. Hall at gay parade?

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#80 Kypreos
June 07 2014, 10:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Ference took a day in the middle of his off-season to "focus" on participating in the Pride Parade.

He takes a day here to "focus" on promoting fitness and a day there to "focus" on visiting sick children in the hospital or helping out with various charitable causes, as do several members of the Oilers.

His "focus" is just fine. Yours?

They all should give back to the community after all the community pays their way...

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#82 Danoilerfanincalgary
June 07 2014, 10:29PM
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I have a lot of respect for Ference he is a stand up guy. He is a good man, a decent player and a leader. We could use a few more players like him.

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#84 Mike
June 08 2014, 01:13AM
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JSR wrote:

My point is...I don't run around saying, "look at me, I'm straight, I'm straight." Why can't people just take people for who they are, gay or straight? I don't think a parade is needed, in either case, straight or gay.

Because we live in a province where marriage is still defined as between a man and a woman, and where some kids are scared to be able to hold the hand of the person they like without fear.

And I get how easy it is to say "to each their own, I don't hate anybody". But silence is just another way of saying "I'm fine with the status quo". And we're not there yet. We have come a long way, but it's not over yet. Don't accept the status quo.

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#85 The Soup Fascist
June 08 2014, 02:51AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

It seems like this topic is one I should stay away from but... as long as there are no clowns in the parade I am ok with it. Clowns scare me.

Then stay away from the Oilers' office on Kingsway at all costs, Reg. You will be scared shirtless.

The place is crawling with them.

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#86 werewolf
June 08 2014, 04:36AM
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Wow, what is wrong with people today, always some group hijacking olympics, sports events, important events to promote their sexuality, religion, color, please give it a rest. This is about the Stanley Cup playoffs, not some cheap advertising to say that i am gay, straight, black, blue, purple, white, brown, race. You want to make a difference in the world then do something about the 21,000 children dying every day. Education of the world's 775 million illiterate adults. 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year. Many more diseases, drug wars and violence, people killed from wars.

You people want to advertise, or make your political statement then put your money or support where you mouth is and donate or support the real problems of today and if you dont know what i mean then let me help you. example: the gay pride society donated 1 million dollars to the the children in somalia or muslim faith donated 10 million dollars to the illiterate society. Or better yet 10,000 people from the gay pride or SPCA society volunteered their time and money to help the children of india, somalia, brazil, etc. Robin, andrew ferrence or whatever celebrate or athlete who decides to make headlines, why dont you help the children of today so that their future helps change the world of tomorrow. Racism, bullying, hatred, war, disease, famine. You know what makes me sick, that some football athlete, or hockey player, or the miserable phone solicitor or tv advertisement showing this poor dog or kitten in a cage, or some athlete coming out about his sexual preference, or some religious fanatic or gunman get front page News. where some 21000 children die each day, or the billion children starving to death. That's how you promote you group or society or whatever the hell your idealogy is. This is about the oilers or the Stanley Cup and thats why i like reading oilersnation. If you want to talk about something political, take it to a forum, paper, talk show or better yet do something about the real problems of the world otherwise stay on topic

HOCKEY, STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, OILERS, TRADES, DRAFT. MESSIER, GRETZKY, REXALL PLACE, 2014 - 2015 NHL SEASON

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#87 book¡e
June 08 2014, 07:27AM
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werewolf wrote:

Wow, what is wrong with people today, always some group hijacking olympics, sports events, important events to promote their sexuality, religion, color, please give it a rest. This is about the Stanley Cup playoffs, not some cheap advertising to say that i am gay, straight, black, blue, purple, white, brown, race. You want to make a difference in the world then do something about the 21,000 children dying every day. Education of the world's 775 million illiterate adults. 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year. Many more diseases, drug wars and violence, people killed from wars.

You people want to advertise, or make your political statement then put your money or support where you mouth is and donate or support the real problems of today and if you dont know what i mean then let me help you. example: the gay pride society donated 1 million dollars to the the children in somalia or muslim faith donated 10 million dollars to the illiterate society. Or better yet 10,000 people from the gay pride or SPCA society volunteered their time and money to help the children of india, somalia, brazil, etc. Robin, andrew ferrence or whatever celebrate or athlete who decides to make headlines, why dont you help the children of today so that their future helps change the world of tomorrow. Racism, bullying, hatred, war, disease, famine. You know what makes me sick, that some football athlete, or hockey player, or the miserable phone solicitor or tv advertisement showing this poor dog or kitten in a cage, or some athlete coming out about his sexual preference, or some religious fanatic or gunman get front page News. where some 21000 children die each day, or the billion children starving to death. That's how you promote you group or society or whatever the hell your idealogy is. This is about the oilers or the Stanley Cup and thats why i like reading oilersnation. If you want to talk about something political, take it to a forum, paper, talk show or better yet do something about the real problems of the world otherwise stay on topic

HOCKEY, STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, OILERS, TRADES, DRAFT. MESSIER, GRETZKY, REXALL PLACE, 2014 - 2015 NHL SEASON

Many of the problems you are talking about in the world have roots in issues of intolerance, hate, and ignorance. Belligerents and political opportunists take advantage of this ignorance to prevent institutional progress that would lead to solutions to these problems. One of the reasons that we enjoy such a great quality of life in Canada today is because generations people have fought to overcome ethnic, linguistic, religious, gender, and more recently sexual preference prejudice and ignorance.

So, I'm sorry that your important Stanley Cup was interrupted by Andrew Ferrence and Robin Brownlee doing their little part to contribute to the overall progress of society.

Instead of professing your ignorance here, I would suggest that you are free to share you ideas and actions to contribute to addressing the issues that you raise. Don't spend your time denigrating the efforts of others. Use your time and energy to make the world a better place.

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#88 book¡e
June 08 2014, 07:36AM
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Ca$h-Money! wrote:

Read Racki's reply. Also, because people still get curb stomped for being gay, but no one does for being straight. Perhaps most importantly, because the suicide rate for gay teenagers is substantially higher than it is for straight teenagers.

The parade helps a community of people take pride in something that so many people try to make them feel shame for. That's why the name emphasizes the word pride. If people were routinely shamed for being straight there would be a straight pride parade. We are fortunate not to need one.

Exactly - well put.

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#89 Dobbler
June 08 2014, 07:39AM
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@werewolf

Writers on this site talk about local public events all the time, as well as telling personal stories that have little to nothing to do with hockey, talk about local edmonton politics. Some of it doesn't interest me at all (the negotiations for the new arena articles didn't do anything for me). You know what I did? I used this magical technology call "the scroll wheel", and scrolled past those articles. You know what I didn't do? Post two paragraphs to complain that they're not writing what I want them to. Take a look at yourself and ask if your complaint isn't the sign of something else, my friend.

It seems like the remainder of your criticism is that Brownlee and Ference and anyone else who supports gay rights, are only capable of supporting one cause, and so supporting gay rights somehow does harm to other good causes. That sucks that we have to choose only one cause. What do I go with? Amnesty international, Unicef or Doctors without borders? Clearly I can't support all of them.

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#90 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
June 08 2014, 07:51AM
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It all boils down to this.

Those who are against the Pride Parade are just afraid. Afraid that the sexuality of some people might rub off on themselves, or "heaven forbid" they might actually get "hit on" by a gay person.

BIG FREAKING DEAL. One individuals sexual choices DO NOT affect me. I am straight with many gay friends. Their sexual preferences matter not.

If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you.

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#91 book¡e
June 08 2014, 07:55AM
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I am sure that similar comments were made about the many 'Italian' celebrations (including parades and marches in some communities) of the 1800s and early 20th century. These were efforts to bring a group of discriminated people together to strengthen their solidarity as a community to combat the prejudices that they faced.

I would suggest that many of you who are complaining about the parade and RB's article are indeed people who have benefited from the efforts made by people in the past who have fought against predjudice. Even as a white individual of British descent, I have benefited from being a part of society where people are free to succeed regardless of who they are.

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#92 MattL
June 08 2014, 08:09AM
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I haven't seen such an interesting combination of hockey, and men kissing other men since.... Don Cherry.

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#93 book¡e
June 08 2014, 08:14AM
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@werewolf

Further, I would add that I have dedicated a good part of my life towards the supply of water to rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (both in terms of charitable work and my academic research), so I am one of those people dealing with the 'real problems' you are discussing. From that perspective, I want to let you know that your comment demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of the issues you are discussing. If you really care about these concerns, I would encourage you to spend some time becoming informed.

I highly recommend books by individuals such as Amartya Sen, Jeffery Sachs, Daron Acemoglu, Paul Collier, Dambisa Moyo, Hernando de Soto Polar,and Joseph Stiglitz. These are mostly development theorists and economists who provide diverse (and sometimes contradictory) perspectives on issues of development and poverty. What you will find is how important strong institutions (government and other) are to overcoming poverty. It may help you understand how the efforts of Andrew Ferrence at the Pride Parade are more in line with overcoming the cause of poverty than you are.

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#94 Striker
June 08 2014, 08:37AM
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book¡e wrote:

Further, I would add that I have dedicated a good part of my life towards the supply of water to rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa (both in terms of charitable work and my academic research), so I am one of those people dealing with the 'real problems' you are discussing. From that perspective, I want to let you know that your comment demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of the issues you are discussing. If you really care about these concerns, I would encourage you to spend some time becoming informed.

I highly recommend books by individuals such as Amartya Sen, Jeffery Sachs, Daron Acemoglu, Paul Collier, Dambisa Moyo, Hernando de Soto Polar,and Joseph Stiglitz. These are mostly development theorists and economists who provide diverse (and sometimes contradictory) perspectives on issues of development and poverty. What you will find is how important strong institutions (government and other) are to overcoming poverty. It may help you understand how the efforts of Andrew Ferrence at the Pride Parade are more in line with overcoming the cause of poverty than you are.

I'd also recommend Ha-Joon Chang, adding to your list of development theorists.

Ference's leadership and participation in the community has been stellar since being named Captain. Bravo mon capitan.

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#95 Fresh Mess
June 08 2014, 08:39AM
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Mike wrote:

Because we live in a province where marriage is still defined as between a man and a woman, and where some kids are scared to be able to hold the hand of the person they like without fear.

And I get how easy it is to say "to each their own, I don't hate anybody". But silence is just another way of saying "I'm fine with the status quo". And we're not there yet. We have come a long way, but it's not over yet. Don't accept the status quo.

It's terrifying that you actually think this way. Not only does everyone have to agree with you, but they can't remain silent? Unreal.

Not everyone feels the need to be seen/heard grandstanding with pious public statements. I know your generation has been brainwashed by the media and school system, but some are still capable of independent thought.

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#96 HardBoiledOil
June 08 2014, 08:48AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...draft Leon Draisaitl

hmmmmm.....9 trash 2 cheers. unbelievable! people seem so paranoid about the Oilers taking Leon, it's become almost laughable! like Bennett or Reinhart or Dal Colle are so much better prospects than Leon is, even though Leon is EXACTLY what this team needs....the big, talented center this franchise has long searched for. guess a lot of Oiler fans have bought into the spin doctors BS about his apparent flaws to the point that the Oilers should take more of the same type of player we already have in Bennett or Reinhart? again, just unbelievable!

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#97 hemi
June 08 2014, 09:17AM
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@HardBoiledOil

I agree with this. More of the same is not what we need. I am nothing like the hockey minded folks whom pour over hockey stats and etc to enable them to critique minor differences of up and coming players. One sure fire outcome of the draft is that some of the leather lungs in this city and this site will undoubtedly pick the crap apart of whom finally lands as the newest Oiler.

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#98 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
June 08 2014, 09:28AM
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Good on Ference. I can't believe Sean Avery managed to stop being a d-bag long enough to promote a worthy cause. I guess he gets a pat on the back as well, but just one.

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#99 Joe Mamma
June 08 2014, 09:36AM
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I don't have any problem with the gay pride parade, as I support the LGBT community and equal rights for all. I do however tend to agree that the overt sexual displays and the costumes (or lack thereof) during the parade are a bit over the top, and not necessary to get the point across. I don't think small children need to be exposed to this kind of overt sexual behaviour, regardless of orientation. And there are a great many in attendance, and even more in the general vicinity. I think that the community on the whole would gain more credibility and respect if the method of delivery was more tasteful. I'm no prude, but this is a public function after all. Maybe as the acceptance of the LGBT community continues to grow, eventually the need to grandstand will subside, and the parade will become more about celebrating diversity and equal rights, and less about showing off.

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#100 Zarny
June 08 2014, 09:50AM
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JSR wrote:

I have no problems with other people's beliefs, orientations, etc. My only issue is the way people choose to promote their beliefs and orientations. I don't think a parade is necessary, straight people don't resort to this...

That's because straight people don't have to. No one gets discriminated against because they are straight or a white male.

You don't really need awareness when you're a universally accepted demographic.

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