Editorial: Rainbow flag a positive step forward for Lake Cowichan

There was a time when being openly gay or lesbian in Lake Cowichan could be dangerous.

There was a time when being openly gay or lesbian in Lake Cowichan could be dangerous.

It could make you a target for hate, slurs, and even violence. People didn’t even really consider the rest of the LGBTQ2+ spectrum.

Thus very few were willing to be open about their sexuality if it differed from the accepted heterosexual norm. It was simply accepted as fact that Lake Cowichan was a place where it was still OK to boast about being a redneck, with all of the intolerant viewpoints associated with the designation, not merely in a “we’re hicks and proud of it” kind of way.

So to say that having the rainbow flag flying at Lake Cowichan town hall for Pride Month is a milestone is almost an understatement. Many would never have dreamed such a thing possible even five or 10 years ago. And according to Lake Cowichan town councillor Lorna Vomacka, who has been a staunch LGBTQ2+ advocate, people have accepted the flag raising with no outpouring of nasty responses or acts of vandalism.

During Pride Month students from both Lake Cowichan Secondary and Palsson Elementary also painted rainbow crosswalks to honour the occasion. This, too, would have been unheard of a decade ago. We can only imagine the horde of parents that would have descended on the school administration objecting to their children taking part in such an activity back in the day.

That’s not to say that things are perfect. As Vomacka tells us, there are still people who are uncomfortable about being open with their sexual orientation due to fear of community backlash. And their fear is not unjustified. Not everyone has yet gotten with the times, or even practices tolerance for those who step outside historical social norms. The hate has never made much sense, of course, and usually stems from fear. But gradually, it seems, people are accepting that someone else’s sexuality, should it differ from their’s, is not threatening. It’s not something to be afraid of. It just is.

Nor do people have to be afraid of their own sexual orientation.

Many people now have friends, family and colleagues who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community. When “they” become someone you know, it’s hard to cling to outdated ideas.

The change has been slow, and sometimes it has seemed non-existent. But the rainbow flag flying above the town hall affirms that it is, indeed, happening. There’s still a ways to go, but looking at all the progress that’s been made lends credence to the idea that we will get there.

Just Posted

Brothers in Cowichan Valley win big in lottery for 2nd time

Playimng same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Enjoy an evening of fun on the Cowichan stage with ‘Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike’

A talented cast, and an entertaining play: sounds like a winner to us

What is the future of Shawnigan Lake?

‘Think Shawnigan’ project wants your ideas

Lefebure rebuilds his previous life in construction

Former North Cowichan Mayor enjoys the transition back to physical outdoor work

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

Parents travelling with three-month-old reportedly being held in Pennsylvania

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

VIDEO: Trudeau, Singh posture for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Advance voter turnout up 25% for first two days: Elections Canada

Two million people voted Friday and Saturday

Most Read