In two weeks it will be time for Toronto's Gay Pride Parade
And thousands of volunteers are working their asses off to try to make it a big success. So I think it's fair to say the last thing we need is this ridiculous controversy.
Jewish groups are outraged that the Toronto Pride Parade could be hijacked by anti-Semitic protesters.
Organizers have angered some Jewish groups by letting Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) be among the 164 registered groups in the Sunday, June 28 parade.
Jewish groups say the parade included growing anti-Israeli sentiment in recent years and accuse Toronto lawyer El Farouk Khaki, the 2009 parade marshal, of being anti-Semitic.
I wish I could ignore this story. But since the opinion and feelings of Jewish Canadians matter to me, as do the ones of Arab Canadians, I think I better set everybody straight...if you'll pardon the expression.
(1) Nobody tells gay people how to run their parade. And certainly not the Jewish right-wing group that first complained... Frank Dimant's B'nai Brith. Because he's friends with some of the worst homophobes of the Christian Right.(PDF)
So he can just fuck off.
(2) The Gay Pride Parade is NOT a venue for anti-semitism. I didn't even notice the queer Arab group last year. Our parade is overwhelmingly pro-gay and anti-bigot. Period. And if any ugly anti-semite ever turned up, and our security didn't confront them, I would. Trust me.
(3) El Farouk Khaki is not an anti-semite. He is a distinguished human rights lawyer who ran for the NDP in the last election. And is being honoured for his work with gay refugees....including Alvaro Orozco.
(4) Nobody should hijack our parade...like some nudist group sometimes does...by insisting on the right to parade naked down the street in front of children. And grossing me out because what does that have to do with gay liberation?
So I wish the QuAIA group would concentrate on the desperate plight of gays in Arab countries... on OUR and THEIR day.
And stop claiming that Israel isn't a much much better place for gay people to live in. Because if you tried this in most Arab countries...
They'd KILL you.
On the other hand the brutal Israeli occupation is a central part of Arab life so how can they ignore it? Resistance is a human right. The gay family is the most diverse one on earth and whatever they decide to do is OK with me.
(5) The Gay Pride Parade was, is, and always will be POLITICAL. And this year more than ever, because it marks not only the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
But the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
And my problem with the parade is that it's too commercial and not political enough. Because sure we have a lot to celebrate. But so many gay people are still suffering all over the world.
For every victory there are a hundred defeats. And we still have so far to go. Like my poor brothers and sisters in California.
Where hope turned to disappointment...
But still they keep on marching. And that's why I'll be marching on Pride Day.
For them and all the others. Israelis and Palestinians and ALL my beautiful brothers and sisters.
With my party hat ....and my
Now if only they could do something about the parade music...coz it usually SUCKS.
OK OK I know...you can't have EVERYTHING.
See you at the parade...