Submitted by Liz on Aug, 28
Toronto made me Gay: Liz's Story
I didn't have a sense of community until I moved to Toronto at age 20. I don't really have a huge connection to Massachusetts as I was thrust into this new city to determine who I am and what I want to do with my life. I didn't understand there was value in my own identity to other people. I didn't think it was important. I did this all myself, I was completely independent with few people I knew in the city. The combination of being new in school, being new in the city made it happen for me. The city I came from was very white and very straight. I felt like I was moving home, which is weird to say but the amalgamation of cultures, people, and the overall way the city is built helped me become proud of the person I've become. My first frosh week, I was recruited by SEC (sexual education centre) and we had a lot of difference of opinions. I've done a few things with LGBTQO. One of the things I remember was moving into a student home with 4 other women and I told them that I am pansexual, and by doing that they were able to open up and as it turned out, three of the four were lesbian.
How is this object or story important to you?

In Boston, being part of the LGBTQO was viewed as an extremely negative thing, using the word "queer" was a derogatory term. I remember people using it when it wasn't even related, it was just a negative term. (Liz started to get emotional at this point because of her memories from Boston). I used to hate that word, especially in the Boston accent, and Toronto helped me become comfortable with who I am.

What does it add to the story of Toronto?

Toronto is the place that many people find the same level of comfort. Toronto is a place that many know as culturally diverse, which ended up lending itself to having a diverse sexual population.