The brightly-coloured rainbow pride flag was raised outside of city hall in celebration of Windsor-Essex Pride Fest Wednesday.
The crowd, including Mayor Drew Dilkens, took a moment at the start of the ceremony to reflect on the positive impact that Chris Hyndam, co-host of CBC-TV afternoon lifestyles show Steven and Chris, had on the LGBTQ community. Hyndam, 49, was found dead in Toronto Monday night.
The mayor said he was proud to be part of the flag-raising and is excited to also attend the 2015 Pride Parade this upcoming Sunday morning in downtown Windsor.
Over the years, events like Pride Fest have helped open people’s minds in this community and beyond.
Dilkens’ father-in-law is part of the LGBTQ community and he took the opportunity to reflect on a time when he encountered a closed mind.
“Someone that I know really, really well, when my father-in-law was getting married, certainly made the point of saying ‘You would take your kids to that wedding?’ because it was a gay wedding,” said Dilkens in an interview with CBC News.”
And I said: ‘Of course I would take them, it’s their grandfather, why wouldn’t I take them?’ ”
The uncomfortable conversation eventually had a happy ending.
Several years later the person who made the comment apologized, acknowledging how insensitive and intolerant his question was, said the mayor.”
Times have changed and it’s great to see the evolution happening across North America and worldwide, but it’s also great to see it happen in individuals that you know become more tolerant and more respectful of different diversity,” Dilkens added.
You can watch the mayor tells his personal story in the video player here.
Pride Fest runs all week and will wrap up with a parade Sunday.