Letter to the editor 1, July 7, 2016

Being Gay in Hudson

Dear Editor,

The events in Orlando really hit home for me. It stirred up anger and sadness, and at the same time it reminded me that there are places, like our town of Hudson, where most LGBTQ folks have had an open and accepting place to live happily amongst their neighbors, clergy, doctors, teachers, friends and colleagues.

Since coming to Hudson in 1988, my partner and I have known incredible acceptance from a community that seemingly had not been very exposed to openly gay couples. I jumped in feet first and joined the local music club, where my partner and I were greeted with the usual, "you’re the first gay couple we've met" and there we began our lives in this warm and accepting community. In the 28 years we have lived here, we have made many amazing lifelong friends.

In the 1970s, when I came out, it was necessary to be very cautious about who you were. My personality allowed me to plough through all that craziness and by the time I was 17 I had marched twice on Parliament Hill fighting for gay rights, which at the time did not exist. I continue to be involved in the fight for gay rights.

Today we enjoy many benefits thanks to those who marched, fought, and died so that we could have what the rest of society has always taken for granted.

When Dolores and I were married 12 years ago, someone said to us, "it's about time, what took you so long?" I guess some people didn't realize that we weren't allowed. A good friend of ours threw us a shower we will never forget. Over 100 people came and took part in their first ever wedding shower for a gay couple in Hudson! We had a most beautiful wedding in the Community Centre, where over 130 friends and family attended, showering us with love and acceptance. We were congratulated and blessed by all the clergy of all the local churches and people were applauding in the street in front of the community centre at the start of our ceremony.

I realize that many still struggle to accept LGBTQ folks but I know that society needs time to understand and integrate us. I hope that young LGBTQ people will not be stopped by prejudice and misconceptions. My wish is that pride, rather than shame, will eventually prevail.

Compared to many places in the world, Canada a great place to be if you’re gay and so is Hudson.

Rest in peace our dear brothers and sisters....

Louise Gauthier

Hudson Acres

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