PRIDE: a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people.
I never had a gay friend that was proud. I had LGBT friends that felt ashamed, struggled and hid their sexuality, especially it seemed from themselves, but I never knew anyone that had confidently intergrated their sexual preference into living a life of purpose. That all changed when I met Giuseppe Ganci, Public Relations Extradonaire of The Last Door Recovery Society for Men to begin Talk Recovery, a radio show about addiction and recovery issues in Vancouver, BC.
Giuseppe is a confident, handsome, meticulous, hard working, reliable, trustworthy, funny, creative, social, lover of food, people and parties that also happens to be openly gay. He offers no apologies or explanations for his sexual preference, just as I would not be expected to do so for being openly heterosexual.
What has been interesting about my own personal relationship with Giuseppe is that he has been the first gay man that I would call my friend. Giuseppe and I often drive together to the radio station and we discuss the show, our personal lives and his driving! (Eeeek!) What I realized through these conversations is that although we have very different lives our hopes, dreams, goals and relationship challenges are very similar. We both want to be loved, valued and respected among other things.
I was raised Catholic (as was he) and that meant being raised in a world that taught me crippling biases about the ideals and purpose of sex. A very large part of my recovery has been unpacking these biases and understanding their origin, purpose and whether they actually serve me and the world in a loving way. For myself, again and again, I have found they do not.
Being a part of the recovery community has allowed me the gift of seeing into a world I may have not otherwise experienced. The opportunity for a friendship with Giuseppe has informed my opinion on how we have both been judged for things about ourselves that are out of our control. Today, it seems to me equally ridiculous to judge anyone based on their sexual identity as it is to judge someone based on their mental health. It makes no sense that how, what or with whom someone has consensual sex is of anyone's concern, when it is such a small and private part of the whole of a person.
In his personal and professional life, Giuseppe is active within the LGBTQ2 community. By openly sharing his own experience, he includes the LGBTQ2 community's perspective in the radio shows we produce on Talk Recovery. He is celebrated for his vision in creating CLEAN, SOBER, PROUD and UNINTOXICATED as a presence at PRIDE since 2008 helping the LGBTQ2 community by creating a safe space where people can celebrate Pride sober.
This year, I participated in my first PRIDE 🏳️🌈 and I really thank Giuseppe for that experience. By just being himself, he has been an advocate for the LGBTQ2 community and expanded my heart & mind to move beyond religious ideas and human rights into our shared experience of the human heart.
If you liked this post, please SHARE THE LOVE ❤️ 💛💚💙💜
All my Relations - Frances Stone, Ms. Recovery Writes
My First PRIDE Experience!! ✌🏼🏳️🌈
Remembering those we've lost to addiction 😢💔
Frances Stone is the Author of A Reflection of Love ~ A Different Kind of Love Story, a Recovery Counsellor and a Radio Co-Host of Talk Recovery Vancouver, a show about addiction and recovery issues, located in the DTES of Vancouver, BC. In her spare time, she does laundry and mothers three clever, curious and challenging little humans.