Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pride Toronto will be funded by the city

It has been an interesting time for the queer community in Toronto.
After heated debate and a report advising that QuAIA's name isn't hate speech, today city of Toronto council voted unanimously to fund Pride Toronto this year.
Apparently out of the debate (and real examples of homophobic hate speech from councillors like Mammoliti and others) came a requirement of Pride Toronto to give QuAIA the boot if they show up at official Pride festivities.
It is a victory to be sure, but it is a bitter sweet victory.
I am glad to see that PT will get funding and live to fight another year, and happier still to see the solidarity of the community with QuAIA voluntarily abstaining from official PT some weeks back.  The bitterness comes from the fact that the Fordite sect (that has gained increased power and visibility since Ford became mayor) have been emboldened in their regular expression of homophobia.
I can't help but feel that though this year's Pride is safe, we have uncovered a tolerance for homophobia that I used to think Torontonians found distasteful at the very least.

Somehow hearing Mammoliti saying "QuAIA had better stay away...they can't just do what they want" sounds like a challenge and borders on the kind of censorship that can cause real division in the queer community.
Continued solidarity in the face of such opposition is challenging so let's hope we can keep it going.

For this year at least we can all look forward to a happy Pride in Toronto in just a few weeks!

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