I checked in with facebook this morning, as I often do. I didn't have to scroll very far to see that Christopher Hyndman had died early this morning. I can't help but wonder if he was the victim of a hate crime and if so, shame on us. If so, why are we still persecuting individuality?
My heart is heavy. I, of course, didn't know him personally but there was a faze of my life where TV personalities were my friends.
I was a new mom, living in the burbs of a big city and everyday I would tune into a few talk shows. The baby would nap and I'd fold laundry or do some other mundane, soul sucking task to keep from feeling guilty about doing 'nothing' (as my husband made sure I knew on many occasions)
Oprah, Steven Sabados & Chris Hyndman would chirp in the background validating my desire for a pretty home or a flattering wardrobe. I learned how to make an evergreen wreath, low fat pizza and read the latest in soulful awareness. My fragile creativity and individuality was, I learned, something to be proud of. I think the hosts brought to light for us authenticity and even vulnerability. Steven and Chris' playful banter and flamboyance made being gay and in the limelight embraceable and celebrate-able . They were quintessentially Canadian, uplifting, creative and inclusive. They set a wave of Canadian fashion and simple home styling on TV for others to follow. They told women of all sizes and backgrounds that they were beautiful. Chris would name them darling and call them sexy.... and most of all he meant it!
So, as my children are turning into adults and I'm about to enter into my 49th year (the same age as Hyndman, notably) I tearfully bid goodbye to a friend. Christopher, if I could hug you today I would say thanks for getting me through my postpartum, chubby, low self esteem, messy house, trying-relationship years. Thank you for accepting me exactly where I was then and now. Thank you for teaching me to arrange flowers, make a slipcover, wear a smokey eye all the while telling me I'm Ok just the way I am.