Adrian Fischer grew up in Canada at a time when LGBTQ2SIA+ mentors were hard to come by. He was fortunate to build an international career, largely in arts and entertainment management, working with many talented and supportive members of our community. Some of his proudest moments have come from advocating for LGBTQ2SIA+ employees at Disney and with other employers. Adrian is the Managing Director, Campus Experience at UBC’s Vancouver campus.
When I was coming out in my late teens and early twenties, I wrestled with the concept of being a “proud” gay man. What was I proud of? What had I accomplished? No doubt pride can be seen simply as the opposite of shame, but that didn’t occur to me at the time since I had never felt ashamed of who I was.
“I had never felt ashamed of who I was. Shy, perhaps, but not ashamed.”
A few years later, I found myself living in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS crisis and witnessed our community’s outpouring of love and support for each other. Now that is something to be proud of. Today, in spite of all the great progress that has been made, there are still plenty of homophobic parents, school bullies, community groups and others. Many LGBTQ2SIA+ people growing up still face difficult challenges coming to terms with their own identity.
“Through Pride, we share the joy of being who we are, the joy of being part of our community, and letting the next generation know that that they can be joyful too.”
Celebrating Pride in recent years has, for me and my husband, been a bit of low-key event. We’ve moved several times, which makes it more difficult to be deeply connected with the community. Plus, we tend to be home-bodies anyway! Prior to moving to Vancouver last fall, we would celebrate by attending one of the major California parades in San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego, and spending time with close friends. I do have fond memories of marching with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in the San Francisco parade when I lived there – what an amazing feeling of community and empowerment!