The annual Pride Parade in Toronto took place last Sunday on the city’s streets. The streets were full of color and joy, but it also had a few tense moments.
The marching parade paused for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. and then participants dressed in black T-shirts appeared, with messages that read “we will not rest until we’re safe.”
The moment of silence was a tribute to the victims of Bruce McArthur, with members of the LGBTQ community claiming that the deaths and disappearances weren’t seriously investigated by the police. That led to the police (dressed in uniforms) being banned from the marching in the event for two years in a row.
The first time, the activist group Black Lives Matter halted the parade to demand that the uniformed police, floats, and cruisers should be banned from the march because of the problems between officers and the black community.
“A Much Bigger Healing Process”
However, the march continued to carry on with 120 groups that danced happily, wearing costumes and waving the rainbow Pride flags.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said that:
“We are reminded today of a terrible tragedy that befelled this community and really the entire city and the whole country with the loss of the men. … I view Pride as a much bigger healing process.”
He added that he has initiated an independent review on the missing person’s cases and how the police handled them:
“We still have a lot of work do to make sure these things don’t happen.”
Not only Tory but also other politicians from major parties and spectators added that they’d like to find a way to ease tension between the police and the LGBTQ community.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh danced with Ontario NDP leader Andrea Howarth and party supporters on the route, stating that the Pride will always face with difficult discussions because the movement is revolutionary and takes “space for a community that has always been marginalized.” Singh added that:
“The only way we can have good policing is when there’s a trust between the police and the public and that is something we need to have. Love is love, it truly is, but there is so much more that needs to be done.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.