Lund addresses being outed

Halifax councillor’s sexuality reported in the Chronicle-Herald during Pride Week.

How seriously does official Halifax take Pride Week? Consider this: Right in the middle of last year's Pride celebration, the Chronicle-Herald published an article outing councillor Peter Lund.

The political classes were at the time caught up in a mini-scandal involving a secret memo sent to councillors by mayor Peter Kelly; the memo called out unnamed councillors for their excessive drinking habits. After the memo was leaked, and with nothing much to do in the summer slow news cycle, the local press played a game of endless speculation of "Who are the drunk councillors?"

On July 22, two days before the 2010 Pride parade, the Chronicle-Herald ran a long article saying Kelly had taken Lund's car keys away because Lund was drunk. The paper did not name the source of the accusation, and Lund, who had not been charged with a crime, declined to respond to it.

The drinking allegation was fodder for a gossip column, but what happened next is unconscionable: the Chronicle-Herald went on to throw every piece of Lund's personal information they could find into the article, including that Lund co-owned his house with another man and, by the way, that other man answered the door at the shared house in his bathrobe.Correction: the bathrobe was not mentioned in the Chronicle-Herald article.

"I didn't consider myself closeted," says Lund. "But neither did I put out there that I'm gay, because it's nobody's business.

"I think it had to do with the mayor, trying to, as he often does, when the heat's on him, he puts it somebody else," says Lund to explain how he was accused of attempting to drive drunk. "But that's not to deal with being outed---because I was told he didn't know. It's the Herald that did that."

Lund says he can't fathom what the Chronicle-Herald's motivation was, but that his Tantallon community has been supportive. "So many people came up to me afterwards and said, 'This is awful; it shouldn't have been published and it's nobody's business.'

"If there's anything I can say to young people who are gay and are worried about coming out, it's: Inspire other people. Because once you inspire other people, things will happen."

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