Tuesday, May 22, 2012
And then, it hit me. Cherry might just be the perfect symbol of Canada. Not the new, meaner, swagger-filled Canada, but the older, more traditional Canada. For you see, gentle reader, Don Cherry might just be the man that stands for one of the most cherished of Canadian attitudes: inclusiveness. Why? Because Don Cherry just might be gay. In fact, he may be the gayest man in Canada.
I have always believed in the necessity of Canada being inclusive. Unless you are First Nations, we have all come from somewhere else: and, in the case of First Nations, it could even be argued that they arrived in North America across a land bridge from Asia during the last Ice Age. So, it follows that, if we are a nation of new-comers, we must embrace the notion that we all bring different things to the nation. That includes things like language, religion, traditions, skills, culture, ethnicity, and, yes, sexual orientation. And that's where Don Cherry comes in. Need proof?
Item: Don Cherry famously kissed Doug Gilmour not once, but at least three times on national television. The pictures seem to indicate a fondness for the touch of the masculine lips. One wonders how much tongue was involved.
Item: Don Cherry shops at Fabricland. Not for drapes or furnishings, but for the material for his flamboyant suits. He loves the image of pipe bands, and the wearing of kilts. When he described a band he was part of, he said they all looked "gorgeous".
Item: Don Cherry has made a career out of extolling the virtues of the team mentality. He has stated on several occasions how important it is to be "with the guys", eating, sleeping, showering together after games and on road trips. He was absent from home, wife and children often as he toiled in the AHL for more than a dozen seasons. He prefers the company of men.
Item: Don Cherry tears up and becomes excessively emotional whenever extolling the virtues of our troops or peace officers. He is a man who cries easily. Macho? Hell, show him a picture of the Queen and watch him dissolve. No wonder he carries fancy hankies in his jacket pocket.
Like many members of the LGBT community, Don Cherry has had to live in another world to avoid his "coming out". So, he has created the persona of himself as a bombastic, tough-talking, roughneck ready to drink and fight and dare anyone to disagree. But I see through him. I believe that, deep down, he is sensitive, sentimental, colourful, flamboyant, and firmly in touch with his feminine side.