The Fourth World Pride Celebration is coming to Toronto this July! It is somehow fitting that Toronto was chosen as the city claims to have one of the largest LGTB communities in the world.
Our annual Pride Celebration attracts upwards of a million and a half celebrants each year and contributes close to $150 million to our local economy. But this year it is anticipated that the 2014 World Pride Fete will be about five times larger!
And we’re betting that Toronto will do it right! The first three World Pride Celebrations were not without some major “issues”.
Promised civic funding of U.S. $200,000 of the the first incarnation was withdrawn* after strong protests from the Pope (recently canonized as St. John Paul). One may also question why they choose to hold the first World Pride celebration in a nation with no laws protecting gay rights.
(*funding was restored by left-wing Mayor, Francesco Rutelli after strong protests from his own supporters.)
Organizers scaled-back events and claim that upwards of a quarter million participants marched Colosseum and Circus Maximus. (Toronto’s annual celebration claims between 4 to 6 times that number!)
Already delayed a year due to tensions over Israeli occupation of Gaza, the Jerusalem parade was cancelled as it was claimed there were not enough soldiers to protect marchers.
Sadly, the downsized parade was held within site of Israel’s “Apartheid Wall” dividing the Israeli settlement from Arab neighbours.
This was nothing short of a disaster. It was a huge slap in the face to London’s LGBT community. Major funding was withdrawn as were parade and event venue permits.
I trust Toronto World Pride 2014 will show the world who we are and what values we hold. Torontonians have long since abandoned the need to purchase personal dignity at the cost of someone else’s.
We have lost the disruptive antics of our buffoonish, profane, alcoholic, crack-addled, homophobic embarrassment of a mayor who has gone into much needed rehab.
In Toronto, we will not merely be celebrating “Gay Pride”. This will be a celebration of the brave-new-world that lies ahead of us.
In the U.S., for example, nineteen states plus the District of Colombia have already legalized same-sex unions (with federal sanction).
The pretty rainbow coloured dominoes are toppling. The debate is over!
Regardless of your orientation, it is up to all Canadians to lead the way. I will wager Toronto will host the most successful World Pride Festival ever! This upcoming event will showcase Toronto as the progressive, tolerant and inclusive city it is.
Check out this video for World Pride 2014: (Toronto: June 20-29.)