Sex Blog: A dating guide to Capital Pride

Of all the cities to be out in, Ottawa ranks pretty high, but falls quite short of Toronto when it comes to a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. In a city as small as this, it is often hard to meet other LGBTQ+ people and find spaces with events for us. Some days, it can feel like you’re the only queer person in your sphere of existence. And as much as Canada is one of the safest places in the world to be LGBTQ+, there are days when it can still be hard and we all still face adversity from those who don’t understand or accept us for who we are.

Pride is when everything shifts in our favor, even if it’s only for a little while. For an entire week, there are events to bring us all out to celebrate our history, struggles, and the ability to live our lives openly here in Ottawa. When the rainbow flags wave it feels easier to be out and proud. It’s a chance to put that gaydar, and more importantly the ever-present “please-be-gay-dar” to rest and just chat and see where things could go. What better time to find a partner than during the celebration of all love?

Now, dating can be hard enough as it is when you’re sure the person is playing for the same team as you, but trying to subtly figure out if you’ve got a shot in hell can make you want to swear off dating altogether. Trying to find where an innocent compliment becomes actual flirting can be very hard to find; you may as well be a virgin trying to find the clitoris.

For those brave souls who are actually willing to get out there and find someone, the main spot to go is Ottawa’s only noteworthy gay bar, the Lookout. Introverts beware! A bar is not the place for everyone so the magical week of Pride is when your options multiply considerably. It’s a collection of events for everyone, including a ton of youth events, some of which seem cooler than the ones for us grown-ups.

This year there’s lots of events like a clothing swap, movie night, art show, and even a cruise if you’re feeling adventurous. If going on your own is not where you’re at you can always bring along a friend, no matter their sexuality. It’s great to have allies there as support when entering the perilous world of dating. Plus it’s nice to have a wing-person to talk you up to the flag-waving cutie next to you.

Then again, dating isn’t for everyone and it can be good just to find a friend in the community who you can bond with. As much as the concept of dating can be exciting, sometimes it can add more stress to already complex social situations, so it’s nice to leave the romance behind some days and just make some cool friends. The actual parade on Aug. 27 is a great time to do that.

There is something very freeing and beautiful about being surrounded by a community of people who are all out to celebrate together. So even if you aren’t looking for love, it can be awesome to have it all around you, like a fabulous safety blanket.

Pride is a time for all members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together without judgment, no matter what label you choose, or even if you choose to not subscribe to any label at all. It’s important to remember no matter the group, you deserve to be loved for who you are and you shouldn’t have to change for anyone.

Spread the love and enjoy Pride.

Photo by Meagan Casalino