Eric, in his own words: “Being gay is one thing, accepting it is the other. Once this is done life is such much easier. One can wonder if there is a gay culture, but really there is so much diversity within our own LGBT community. In the end, being gay for me means to be truly who I am, like it or not.
At first the biggest challenge was to find gay people I could identify with. Over the years my sense of humor has surely help me stay away from trouble and get accepted where ever I am. In 2008, I ran for office and one of my objectives was to show others that you could be openly gay, have a career and be involved in politics. A bit like this project, a chance to put a face, and say that we exist and want to be around the table when important decisions are made in Parliament.
We are very lucky in Montreal to have a vibrant and diverse gay community. The village is a beacon and a starting point for many. However, gay people in this city are not ghettoized, we are everywhere and that is the beauty of it. I put anyone to the challenge of not liking Montreal, where Europe and North America meets.
(With regards to coming out) I was 22, and went to study abroad for a year. Mette my Danish friend helped me out with my coming out. When I came back home at Christmas I wanted to tell my parents. On my last night in town, we all went for dinner before my flight. I had promised my sister I was going to tell them then. The bill was on the table and I had yet to face reality, my sister kicked me under the table looking at me with her eyes wide open… I asked my parents if they had New Year’s resolutions, after they finished I told them about mine. I wanted to be successful with my studies, have a great career in Europe afterwards and be myself. My dad said: “these are not resolutions!” To which I replied: Well in order to be myself I need to tell you something… I am Gay”. Dead silence, but, it felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. I was quick in letting everyone know that it was not their fault. The only choice I had to make was to accept or not, whom I truly was. It took me time to come to this conclusion and it was only fair to give them time to reflect on this. Overtime, they made me feel accepted and told me that really nothing much had changed.”