Pride Parade in Toronto: Walking with Indeed.com

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This past Sunday, I got the chance to walk in the Pride Parade in Toronto. More than that, I was able to do so with my best friend and my company, Indeed.com.

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Although my bestie does not work at Indeed, she was definitely rocking the swag. This experience was honestly the BEST experience of my life. You can laugh or blame the alcohol, but honestly, it was the people I was surrounded around that MADE this experience for me. People who were showing their authentic self, unapologetically. Being themselves without holding back, without hiding, and without fear.

Representation matters! I will continue to shout it from the rooftops, and this year, not only, did I see people expressing who they are, I saw BLACK people expressing who they are. Being apart of a minority who checks a lot of boxes of otherness in my identity, I always love when people, especially, black people being who they are.

I could go on and on, but I want to keep this short and sweet. I never felt so included, so loved, so seen, and so me. The only thing I would change was the weather, like why did it have to rain on my parade. All of those who came out know that the rain DID NOT stop us!

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I absolutely LOVED that the theme or slogan that I saw everywhere was “Celebrate Diversity.” I hope that this notion of celebrating diversity means that we celebrate ALL forms of diversity. I strongly believe that Pride is not just about diversity in sexuality and sex, I believe its about inclusivity for ALL people.

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The Boy Named Jeff

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Yesterday after work, I was waiting for my friend to pick me up. I took a seat outside my office building, and chilled until he came to get me.

Suddenly, I see a guy approaching me directly. I was racking my brain to see if I knew him or not. When he finally made it to me, he told me that he wanted $2 to get something to eat. I responded by saying that I didn’t feel comfortable giving him cash, but if he wants, we can go somewhere and get him something to eat, and I’ll pay.

He agreed to my condition, and we made our way to the nearest Pizza Pizza. While we made our way over, he told me about his life. He recounted how he and him girlfriend are both homeless. He disclosed that he had some money on him, but was saving it for his girlfriend. As a result, he couldn’t afford dinner.

My skeptical readers are probably shaking their head, and asking:

How do you know he was telling the truth?

Honestly, that’s a great question, and my answer is “I don’t.” He could have been telling me a fable, but I choose to believe him.

He continued and stated that he was a recovering drug addict. He appreciated that I didn’t give him cash, and instead offered a meal. Once we arrived at Pizza Pizza, I offered the world, and he only ordered a pepperoni slice and a drink. A grand total of $8.

The boy I met. His name was Jeff. Jeff is experiencing homelessness, but he is so much more than just that one circumstance. It fucking SUCKS. It’s fucking MIND-BOGGLING to know that people are experiencing homelessness in a country as privileged as Canada, and in a city as proud as Toronto. He is a person. There is a whole theory dedicated to discussing how no good deed is selfless because the very act of doing a good deed gives one a feeling of euphoria. The question arises, if doing a good deed makes you feel good is it selfless? (I am totally getting sidetracked. We can discuss philosophical questions later – back to Jeff. )

This whole interaction didn’t last longer than 10 minutes. However, that’s 10 minutes that made a memorable impact in my life, and hopefully I had the same impact on his life.

As a black woman who wears outrageous hair colours and is way too bubbly for her own good, I find it important to show people, especially people experiencing homelessness, kindness and decency. You never know how a small act can effect someone.

With all of that being said, I challenge you to do a good deed, selfless or not. Go out of your way to make a positive impact in someone’s life.