Pride in the Trades: Darren Danbrook
Fourth year electrician apprentice Darren Danbrook recalls the exhilaration he felt walking in his first Pride parade in 2019. “I was really excited and really proud to be a gay man walking down the street. I had an absolute blast that day,” he says.
Pride helps demonstrate that there is a greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ in the skilled trades, says Darren, and he hopes it encourages others to consider it. “It’s hard work, mentally and physically. And it’s not for everybody. But it pays well and it’s a good career,” he says.
At 31, Darren says he was in limbo, working as a delivery driver and trying to figure out what he wanted to do in life. One of his customers was an electrical company and after talking to the owner and researching the work involved, he joined the company and became an apprentice. “I was completely green!” he laughs. I didn’t know needle nose pliers from side cutter pliers.”
Darren says homophobia isn’t tolerated at the unionized construction sites that he’s worked at and he’s never been bullied. But he often overhears anti-gay remarks. “I hear them mocking gays. And it is offensive. These guys don’t know who I am. Maybe they’d talk differently if they knew I was gay.”
Like many others, Darren is disappointed that COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the Pride parade this year.
“Pride is important because we always need to remember the past and what we’re out there for; to fight against hatred and homophobia,” he says. “It’s important to spread love, education and acceptance.”
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