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.”
Renaud, in his own French words:“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”
– Harvey Milk
Être gay, c’est pouvoir creuser jusqu’au plus profond de soi-même et être capable de s’accepter, peu importe ce qu’on y trouve et découvre. Y faire face, l’assumer, et essayer d’en tirer tout ce qu’il y a de mieux. Le plus difficile pour moi fût de reconnaître et d’apprendre à vivre avec cette identité sexuelle qui m’est propre, que l’on qualifie de “différente”, mais qui m’est plutôt individuelle. Difficile de faire le deuil d’une vie normale, le deuil de fonder une famille; difficile de faire face à l’inconnu et de voir l’avenir comme une vertigineuse falaise. Toutefois, peu à peu, on apprend à grimper cette paroie qui nous apporte finalement sérénité, puis on contemple tout le chemin accompli en se disant que la route fût ardue, avec son lot d’embûches, mais que le sommet en vaut largement la chandelle.
Nous sommes tous humains, nous devons tous aimer et être aimés. Nous avons tous nos propres batailles et être gay, c’est d’avoir vaincu. C’est avoir vaincu sa crainte du rejet, sa crainte de la solitude, sa crainte des préjugés. Être gay, c’est ne pas avoir peur du regard des autres, c’est ne pas avoir peur du jugement, c’est de se tenir debout pour ses convictions. C’est d’enlever son masque et se montrer à nu. C’est de se battre pour ses droits. C’est de se rallier et s’unir pour montrer l’absurdité d’un fossé qui n’aurait jamais dû exister.
Philip, in his own words:“Being gay for me is the simple fact that I am a man and I enjoy the company of men. It’s the way I connect with my body sexually, and nothing more really. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve tried to connect more with with it as an identity, but the more I live and experience, the more I realize it’s just one of my many facets.
When I was younger and growing up in the Christian community, being gay conflicted with the interpretations I was given of the Bible and the Christian doctrine. Now later, a little wiser, a little more experienced, I understand that we all just want and need to connect to something, and I just choose to connect with love.
The Montreal gay scene is eclectic. It’s tacky, it’s fun, it has some history, some of it is a little out dated, some of it is sexy and there are different sub-cultures to connect to within the community. it’s a good time when you want it to be, it’s lame when you want it to be, it’s fun to watch, I don’t necessarily connect with all of it, but we definitely got one in Montreal.
(With regards to my coming out story) A film that will be coming to you soon!”