My button collection from twenty years ago reveals one angry young man—politics on my sleeve, my lapel, my backpacks.
You young'uns: before there were memes to share on Facebook we ancients had only these buttons. Over the next decade I would accumulate an impressively diverse array of them.*
To me, everything was political. You name almost any progressive cause, and I was for it. (Not that my ideals were uniformly wrong! I was sincerely seeking justice, which is an attribute of God, and some of my values had merit. However, I seized on certain ideas that as I was drawn to the Catholic Church I would discover were badly wrong-headed, and as an ideological thinker I foolishly made social change into an idol.)
At centre-left near the top is a memento of Lesbian and Gay Pride Day in 1984, which was a year of firsts for me: worshipping at a gay-positive church, where I would stay for the rest of the 1980s; marching on International Women's Day, albeit hesitantly when I began, for abortion rights; participating in the Pride march, which I would go on to attend religiously. And one important first for all of Canada, where it now seems almost every student newspaper has a gay and lesbian column: thirty years ago at the University of Waterloo I pioneered the very concept.
But Pride and watered-down Christianity no longer hold any allure for me.