Red Head Cove cou­ple sees bright fu­ture for gay com­mu­nity

Re­cently mar­ried cou­ple hope­ful for fu­ture

The Compass - - News - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Brian Nolan and Shawn Hyde re­cently cel­e­brated their new sta­tus as a mar­ried cou­ple in Red Head Cove.

The cou­ple, who have been to­gether for the past 35 years, got mar­ried in St. John’s on June 21. When they re­turned home to Red Head Cove, how­ever, they were greeted by a sur­prise cel­e­bra­tion in the town’s com­mu­nity cen­tre.

Nolan and Hyde did not orig­i­nally in­tend to have such a cel­e­bra­tion, but felt as though some­thing along the lines was com­ing up when they were told to wear their suits to the com­mu­nity cen­tre.

Nolan de­scribed the cel­e­bra­tion as “over­whelm­ing”, say­ing the sup­port from fam­ily and friends from within the com­mu­nity is some­thing he’ll never take for granted.

“It was beau­ti­ful. There were peo­ple there both young and old to cel­e­brate us, and our mar­riage,” said Nolan. “I think that’s an amaz­ing thing, es­pe­cially as I think back and re­mem­ber all the times when some­thing like this would have been frowned on, or looked at as some­thing bad.”

Nolan’s hus­band, Hyde, added he couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter way to cel­e­brate, not­ing the cake, food, and en­ter­tain­ment, all pro­vided by the com­mu­nity.

“We both ap­pre­ci­ated it so much. It’s some­thing we won’t for­get, and cer­tainly didn’t see com­ing. We loved it,” Hyde added.

On July 20, 2005, Canada be­came the fourth coun­try in the world to legalize same-sex mar­riage na­tion­wide. Nolan told The Com­pass mar­riage was al­ways some­thing the cou­ple had thought about, but only re­cently de­cided to act on.

“I think the mar­riage was a big step for us as a cou­ple. It le­git­imizes our re­la­tion­ship, and I think it helps af­firm who we are to our fam­ily and friends,” Nolan said.

“It’s still hard to get used to hav­ing the ring on my hand, but it’s some­thing I’ll gladly get used to,” added Hyde.

The cou­ple both agreed that mar­riage was an im­por­tant move to make, not only emo­tion­ally, but legally as well.

Nolan said that be­ing able to write down on pa­per that the two are mar­ried, rather than a civil part­ner­ship, makes life a lot eas­ier when it comes to dayto-day life.

A brighter fu­ture Above all, both Nolan and Hyde said the mar­riage con­firmed to them that things are quickly get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter for the gay com­mu­nity in Canada.

Nolan told The Com­pass that through­out his life, he’s dealt with gay bash­ing is­sues in com­mu­ni­ties where he’s lived, as well as from po­lice.

Now, in 2017, Nolan was happy to note the level of ac­cep­tance and love he’s seen from peo­ple all over to­ward not only him­self and Hyde, but the gay com­mu­nity in gen­eral.

“Years ago, this would never have hap­pened, I don’t think. Not here, any­way,” said Nolan. “But now, it’s al­most be­come com­pletely nor­mal to be openly gay, as it should be. That’s some­thing I’m very happy to see – the love and ac­cep­tance, es­pe­cially here in Red Head Cove, is over­pow­er­ing. Peo­ple are start­ing to come to terms with the fact that gay peo­ple ex­ist and we’re just like any­one else.”

Nolan says he’s seen a lot of changes over the last 35 years, and Hyde noted Red Head Cove in par­tic­u­lar has been a very wel­com­ing com­mu­nity for the cou­ple.

Both Hyde and Nolan played an ac­tive role in gay pride pa­rades in the com­mu­nity in the past two years, some­thing they say the com­mu­nity re­ceived very well, and look for­ward to join­ing in again in the com­ing years.

Nolan said al­though things aren’t per­fect for the gay com­mu­nity on a world­wide scale, he feels as though things have taken a very pos­i­tive turn for young gay peo­ple in this coun­try over the past 35 years. He noted that al­though youth may still have to deal with some prej­u­dice, he ex­pects they will be met with even more love.

“I think this sets an ex­am­ple to younger peo­ple in the gay com­mu­nity. It shows them that things aren’t al­ways go­ing to be bad, de­spite the bad days they may have. There’s a bright fu­ture ahead for them, and it’s get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter in this coun­try ev­ery sin­gle day,” said Nolan.

Nolan added he hopes gay peo­ple look at their mar­riage with pride and hope, and that he and his hus­band can set a good ex­am­ple for any­one go­ing through what they have gone through in the past.

“Don’t be afraid,” Nolan said. “You can’t be afraid. Be who you are, and stay true to your­self. That’s the most im­por­tant thing any­one can take away from this.”

I think that’s an amaz­ing thing, es­pe­cially as I think back and re­mem­ber all the times when some­thing like this would have been frowned on, or looked at as some­thing bad.

— Brian Nolan

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Shawn Hyde (left) and Brian Nolan cel­e­brated their mar­riage dur­ing a sur­prise cel­e­bra­tion hosted by the com­mu­nity of Red Head Cove.

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