Apology a hard-fought win

No one should ever feel shame, or hate themselves for who they are

I feel so lucky as a queer parent to live in Canada and cried when I watched Justin Trudeau apologize to all LGBTQ2 civil servants. I feel immense gratitude to all those individuals who fought for the rights, protection, visibility, and inclusion that I and my family now enjoy.

Sometimes, here in Whitehorse, I feel like I am accepted as just another homonormative individual, raising another homonormative family. My wife and I have two kids, two cats, and live in relative privilege in our bungalow. I feel so lucky to have this life I thought I never would have, this acceptance and love that for 15 years I thought I was not worthy to have.

It feels so hard-fought. I am cautious not to gloss over my queer past and lack of straight privilege. Although my parents tried their best given their beliefs and community and I honestly love them and although I have many positive memories with my family, I had a sinking feeling of not belonging. I remember being teased for being the tomboy, having few friends and laying low playing with my younger brothers.

I matured into a depressed teenager, was targeted and isolated at a party and repeated raped through the night. In university people threw timbits and spit at me out of car windows, yelling “fag.” As a young adult I took a wooded trail home, one that soothed my mind, and had three skinhead men chase me. I escaped onto a busy street. Heart racing, I was sure I was going to be raped again.

But all this pales in comparison to the self hate that was etched in my mind. I remember at 12 years old the dark voices that began in my mind. They said I was damned to hell, a disgrace to my family, a waste of life. The feeling of being worthless was deafening and unbearable. In my teen years, I tried several times to end my life. I did everything I could think of to disappear.

Although my life is wonderful now, and my community is accepting and beautiful, I cannot gloss over my history. Canada, our communities, and families cannot gloss over the many LGBTQ2 individuals who have been and continue to be marginalized, victimized, isolated or targeted.

After listening to Justin Trudeau’s apology, I wonder where we go from here. How do we welcome and support marginalized children, youth, and adults? Canada can grow stronger we can grow more supportive.

Looking back, I just wanted somebody to have my back, to love me for who I was, and to not feel utterly alone. I want my children to live in world where all children feel loved and welcomed for who they are. No one should ever feel shame, or hate themselves for who they are. Our families, communities, and country can be so much better than that.

Cai Krikorian

Whitehorse

LGBTQ

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read