Letter: Why Pride Week is needed in central Alberta

I am deeply disturbed by the letter that ran on Aug. 5 from a reader protesting the Advocate story about a professional hockey player coming out as gay. The article Rebel proud of friend for coming out as gay ran July 20.

The comments in the letter published just before Pride Week in central Alberta are shocking and demonstrate why Pride Week is necessary.

Fifty years ago one could be arrested, admitted to a mental hospital, fired from one’s job or kicked out of one’s apartment for being gay. These laws and policies have been changed but the hurtful mentality still arises occasionally.

Being gay is not a lifestyle choice. Coming out takes courage because of attitudes like those expressed by the writer. Pride Week is a response to the injustices that have been overcome. It also recognizes the thousands of lives lost through AIDS, addiction and suicide. Life as an LGBTQ2S person is not easy.

I am saddened that central Alberta has a reputation for discrimination, prejudice and ignorance. We are better than this. Educate yourself. Love is love. We are a city of over 100,000 people and its 2021.

Randy Patmore, Red Deer