Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Activist Sky Aurora Shares Her Story Of What It's Like To Be A Lesbian Living In Nunavut

Northern News Services reports:
"It was the late 1980s when Sky Aurora, a teenager living in Rankin Inlet, first heard about the possibility that two women could be in a relationship together. "It was always referred to as 'gross' by others," she said. "Kids would joke about it at school." In 1988 her father, former politician Jack Anawak, became a Member of Parliament and the family moved to a house near Ottawa, Ont., where Aurora enrolled in a much larger school. It was around this time she felt different about her sexual orientation but concealed her feelings in fear of the reaction it would cause both in Ontario and Nunavut. It was only around the age of 20, when she finally told someone about her attraction to women, that she could truly experience the relief and emancipation she'd been longing for. "It felt like a tonne of bricks off my shoulders," she said. "I was constantly lying to people, who would ask about my relationship status, whenever I went back to Ottawa. It was so heavy on my conscience."  Despite the numerous obstacles she'd already overcome, Aurora would face more homophobia upon her return to Rankin Inlet in 1996, when the family moved back to Nunavut. In 2000, Aurora moved to Iqaluit and immediately befriended Alison Brewer, who was part of the small gay and lesbian community. One day in the spring of 2001, while hanging out at the Frobisher Racquet Club with friends, they decided to create a group that would promote LGBT rights. The group organized annual picnics for a number of years, held at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, and also attended Pride parades in Toronto. Aurora said Nunavummiut have come a long way toward accepting people for who they are, and was thrilled when she heard members of Iqaluit city council raised the rainbow flag near its corporate office on Feb. 10. READ MORE