Eric, in his own words: “Maybe it’s because of the open-mindedness of Montreal and the way this city embraces the LGBT community, but I feel like being a gay man doesn’t have as much to do with homosexuality as much as it does self-admittance.
I am blessed to have grown up in a city like Montreal, in a mega-super liberal family and with friends who did everything they possibly could to make my coming out so enjoyable. My life isn’t “just as good” as it was prior to my coming out; it’s much much better. I think I’d be very unhappy if I were still closeted. I think that the suppression would prevent me from enjoying many of the things I love in my life that are completely unrelated to my sexuality.
Like I said, being gay is more about a general self-acceptance or self-admittance process. Yes, your sexuality is crucial, but I like to think that it goes way beyond that. I believe coming out is the first step, the first exercise of profound introspection. The thought process that comes with that is what I really treasure; being able to take the time to listen to yourself and take action upon your honest conclusions despite what others might say. I think being gay is about transparency and authenticity, not just you vs. society but also you vs. you (that’s usually the trickiest one). That’s what being gay actually helps you prioritize: your own personal welfare over your concern of other people’s opinions. And it’s always going to be work in progress. I like looking back at the past 4 years of my life and measuring where I was against what I’ve become. To add to that, I’m really excited about what’s coming next.
So when I look at any gay man, proudly wearing either hair or glitter on his chest (or both), I see a courageous person who was able to face his true self and change the things that didn’t make him happy.”