I am in Vancouver, Canada. I came here to get an outsider’s perspective on the struggle for LGBT equality in the states. I hope to do street interviews Monday or Tuesday.
I almost wasn’t allowed into the country. Upon crossing the border, I was told to park the van and wait inside the building. The van was searched (which is fine and perfectly legal at a national border crossing). Then I was called up to the counter. I was asked about my arrest in 2003. I was arrested for defacing a military billboard. It was a protest against the war in Iraq. (Actually, I was the lookout. Woops.) I did 10 hours of community service to complete my sentence.
However, while the arrest was in the computer, the judicial department never entered the data that I did my sentence. Technically, the Canadian border officials should not have allowed me to enter the country. Yet, the woman at the desk said she believed me and that it sometimes happened that the courts don’t update their computer data. She suggested that, when I get back to Boston, I get a certificate from the court, verifying that I did my time. That way, the next time I try to enter Canada, I won’t have a problem. It was scary.
I slept in the van last night and spend most of the day looking for a campsite. British Columbia is incredibly beautiful this time of year, and all the campgrounds are full. Eventually I found a campsite about an hour outside of Vancouver. It is nice. I am in the mountains, right next to a waterfall. Tomorrow I’m going to check out Davie Street, the gay district in Vancouver.
Crossing the Border into Canada