Occupation: Ontario Minister of Education
Claim to fame: Mother of three fabulous children: Christopher, Jessica, Maggie. Partner of loving, supportive Jane Rounthwaite.
A coming out moment: I was 37 years old when I came out. Shortly after Jane and I started living together, we went on a vacation to proudly gay Provincetown on Cape Cod. One night we stepped out of the front door of the inn we were staying at, when a man reached out and thrust a flyer for a lesbian nightclub event into my hands. I was already involved in public life at the time but the moment when a perfect stranger assumed that I was a lesbian stands out in my mind. On one hand I felt comfort in being part of a group I was starting to identify with, but on the other hand I was shocked that someone would make a judgment about me.
Favourite gay icon: k.d. lang.
A Toronto Pride experience: Three years ago I was marching with my political colleagues down Yonge Street in the parade. I suddenly caught sight of my sister, Evie, who jumped out of the crowd wearing a beautiful “I love my lesbian sister” button. She was the first member of my family of origin to venture downtown to the parade and I burst into tears as she hugged me. Pride is a wonderful time to connect with strangers in common cause, to celebrate the gorgeous diversity of our world, but it is always the acceptance of the people we love the most that touches our hearts.
Most likely place to be spotted during Pride: At the MCC Church service on Sunday morning; marching in the Pride Parade with my Liberal colleagues.
Words of wisdom: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” â€” Martin Luther King Jr.