I was moved and honoured this past Monday evening to accept the Ally Award from PFLAG Canada. PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. PFLAG Canada supports, educates and provides resources to parents, families, friends and colleagues with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below is my acceptance speech from the reception:
I believe that the PFLAG “Ally Award” has great significance, and I was flattered to accept it on Monday night on behalf of the Burke family. But I hope the day comes, and soon, when this award is retired as obsolete.
A parent’s unconditional love and acceptance of their child is unremarkable, and should be automatic. It deserves no accolades or praise. Make no mistake, the hero here was Brendan. What Brendan did took courage. Coming out in arguably the most macho of the professional sports. Now that was worthy of an award.
Most walls in society have been breached or levelled over time. But not this one – professional sports in North America has no gay presence. And certainly the NHL does not. These walls have not been breached, have not been levelled. ...