Monday, July 04, 2016

Justin Trudeau and the Attempted Hijacking of the Gay Pride Parade

Well I got there late, as usual. So I had to settle for a place in row 18. And I had to leave early because my stitched up knee started to swell up.

But after my best Canada Day ever, it was my best Gay Pride parade ever.

It was an amazing sight. I've never seen so many people in my life. 

And I did stay long enough to see history made.

And hear the roar of the crowd.

At the sight of a Canadian Prime Minister marching in a Gay Pride parade for the very first time. 

For all the spectacle and pageantry of Pride, it seemed Trudeau was the focus for many standing along the parade route and perched on roofs of Yonge St. buildings. 

The first sitting prime minister to walk in the Pride parade, Trudeau was hemmed inside the barricaded route for nearly two hours of walking, broken up with a little dancing and two direct hits from toy water guns.

Which as I explained yesterday, after the stealthy bigotry of the Harper years, was a very big deal for LGBT Canadians.

For having a leader like Justin Trudeau embrace them and their fight against bigotry so joyously...

Even when he's being blasted with water guns, is for many gay people like a dream come true.

And the fact that like the rest of us Justin was facing down a murderous threat from ISIS, made it even more special. And let's hope those crazies got the message:


So yeah, it was all fabulous...

Except for one ugly incident.

When the small but noisy Black Lives Matter group tried to hijack the parade. 

Black Lives Matter brought Sunday’s Pride parade to a standstill on Sunday to force the annual celebration of LGBT equality to answer for its “anti-blackness,” the protesters said. 

The group, an honoured guest at this year’s parade, stopped its float and marchers at Yonge and College Sts. for more than 30 minutes, refusing to move until Pride officials met their demands.

As you can see here...

In an attempt to turn a day of unity into one of division, with a selfish and pathetic publicity stunt.

Where they held a million people hostage in the hot sun for 30 minutes, to blackmail parade organizers into agreeing to a long list of demands.

Which they had no right to do, and only betrayed their complete lack of respect for the gay community, which comes in many colours.

Before going off to celebrate their great victory...

Or twerk it.

Which since they had been honoured by Pride TO, and they knew that the parade organizers would not ask the police to dislodge them, was no great victory.

It only made them look like bullies, or racist homophobes.  And their message made as much sense as this tweet from the Con boob Maxime Bernier.

Who somehow managed to include the logo of the National Rifle Association into his message of solidarity.

On a day when the parade was honouring the victims of the Orlando massacre...

As only the boob from the Beauce could.

But then Black Lives Matter and Bernier weren't the only losers. For Rona Ambrose and some of her Cons were also there.

Trying to look like they weren't the same gang that discriminated against LGBT Canadians for almost ten years. 

And no doubt hoping that the Black Lives Matter incident would take the spotlight off Justin Trudeau.

Although as you can see, after mocking Justin's well known saying "Because it's 2016" for months, now they're trying to steal it.

And all I can say is good luck with that, because as you can see Justin owns that one...

And after today I'm pretty sure that he's going to own the loyal support of most LGBT Canadians for a VERY long time. 

Because he is their dream come true.

So although I had to leave early, and limp off in pain. And although I'm still angry that some nasty little group of publicity seekers tried to ruin the one day we set aside to celebrate our survival.

They did fail miserably.

It was my best Gay Pride day ever.

And I will remember it forever...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


  1. I must admit when I heard about the Black Lives Matter sit-down I thought it was just a bit tacky.

    I certainly support Black Lives Matter issues but I lost a little respect for individuals involved for such a tasteless move. I imagine most of the members of the movement are cringing in embarrassment.

    1. Anonymous1:26 PM

      Speaking for people of colour? Pride is white.

    2. Hi jrkrideau....the problem is Canadians confuse the Black Lives Matter (Toronto) with the original group in the U.S. But while the one down there is a legitimate group, the one up here is made up of a group of privileged black supremacists and racists, who is only interested in publicity. In that regard it resembles the Ecumenical Liberation Army in the classic movie Network. They are poseurs, they are bigots, and they represent nobody but themselves.....

    3. Anonymous5:35 PM

      Right on Simon!!!!! We agree on that!!! ha ha FS

    4. Hi anonymous....take your black supremacist views and shove them where the sun don't shine. Don't you dare deny our history as the victims of anti-gay violence. The LGBT movement is a diverse movement made up of people of many colours, and does not need any lectures from the bourgeois black racists of BLM. If those twerking clown bullies were serious about saving black lives they would work to stop black youth from killing themselves. But that might be dangerous so those filthy cowards would rather bully the gay community. I have fought racism since I was 12-years-old, so I don't need any lectures from you or from any black supremacists...

  2. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Ah yes, urban white man telling people of colour how and when to be active.

    Back of the parade! But hey, it's 2016 says the nice white activists.

    1. I told you to shut up you filthy Nazi. If you want to aid gays instead trying to bully them, go preach to the black community which is one of the most anti-gay communities in the world. Go to the US. And talk to the black preachers who regularly call for gays to be killed. Or better still show me your "blackishness" and go preach to the genocidal bigots in Africa who are the new Nazis....

    2. Anonymous5:40 PM

      Here Yea, Here Yea, Simon!!!!!!!! "black preachers who regularly call for gays to be killed" that's the first thing I thought of when I heard about the pathetic set in. Always someone to rain on a parade. Pretty low to bully any kind of "all inclusive" parade. These ignorant LBM must be so proud...NOT!!!!!!! FS

  3. Hi Simon. I was waiting to see your take on the disruption caused by the Black Lives Matter protest. The newspapers seemed to present it without comment, but, like you, I was disgusted by their tactic. While I support and applaud the activism they have engaged in thus far, to be given an honoured position and pulpit within the festivities and then to commit what was tantamount to extortion was a gross betrayal of the organizers and will surely undermine their credibility.

    1. Hi Lorne....yes the MSM gave those anti-gay bullies the publicity they crave so much. As I explained above the reason is that they confuse that group with the one in the U.S., and their white guilt kicks in. When in fact gay people are the victims of the most violent hate crimes in Canada, and BLM Toronto is a cult of privileged black women who are only after the publicity. Ask yourself why when police have killed so many mentally ill people, they are only protesting the death of a black one? What about all the others? Black racists are just as bad as any others. There were a thousand times as many black people in and watching the parade than support that black supremacist group. But those bullies couldn't give a damn about anybody but themselves...

  4. Anonymous11:57 AM

    I totally agree that whole BLM incident pissed me off. They did come off as bullies.


    1. Anonymous1:26 PM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Hi are right to be angry, that bourgeois gang of back bigots acted like bullies and thugs. It was a disgusting act of contempt for the gay community, and on a day when we were mourning our dead. Those filthy scumbags couldn't even respect that, they had to make it all about themselves. The good news is that the "demands" they blackmailed the organizers into agreeing to are going to be filed in the garbage as I had hoped they would be. The parade will go on without them next year, and if they ever pull a stunt like that one again, they will feel the full force of gay anger. If those genocidal bigots want war then that's what they will get....

    3. Anonymous9:00 PM

      I cannot pretend to know the problems and trials of either LBGT people, nor the people that are different shades of white, but I do believe that it serves no purpose to disrupt an event that does push and celebrates the concept of equality, simply because another progressive group feels that they have not made adequate progress themselves. It will only generate negativity towards the BLM movement, not only here but also in the US, and not only by racists but by those who are not bigots but are affected by these antics. GS

  5. Anonymous4:40 PM

    My gingersnaps Simon, these CONS walking around with signs saying "Because it is the current year"... "Conservative MP Brad Trost had made a spirited pitch to retain the party’s support for the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman."... While some say it is baby steps for the CONS but I would not trust these ruthless, racist, bigots. They were simply there to push their own agenda. Funny they did not show up for 10 years and all of a sudden they are "CURRENT"... Not falling for that. Yep black lives matter were bullies. Are they off to disrupt the Calgary Stampede parade next?????? FS

  6. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Was watching the parade with interest. After Orlando and an ISIS threat, it was so great to see incredible turn out. Of course, Trudeau wasn't posing, he was there last year, but this year as PM, it was brilliant.

    With all of this going on, Tory MPs who attended looked like bafoons, and BLMs highjack looked like shameful opportunism.

    Great post, comments, and follow up from you Simon. Hope your knee is fairing ok through this.


  7. Hi TS...thank you, and yes it was a super parade, and Justin Trudeau was simply amazing. As for the controversy over the BLM I think I'll stay away from that one in future. I got slagged on Twitter even by some of my friends who didn't understand what I was trying to say, which almost ruined my day. And as for my knee it's healing but slower than I had hoped. And I just hope it will be OK before I leave for Scotland, because if you've ever been to Edinburgh it's almost all uphill. But as I said in my post, I did enjoy the pride parade, and now I am sure that we did get our country back....

  8. e.a.f.8:51 PM

    I don't know anything about the BLM of Toronto so I can't comment on who they are and what their act is. However, if people have "grievances" demonstrating is a right and proper thing to do as people in the LGBTQ community have been doing certainly since the 1960s. I'm sure that over the years there has been more than one event where the LGBTQ community "held up the parade".

    MSM has reported that there has been a number of racist comments made regarding the actions of the BLM group, which in it self, in my opinion means there is a problem. It maybe people of colour don't feel as included in the LGBTQ community and yes, with in "equity" groups there are sometimes further inequities.

    As to insisting the police dept. not be present as a department, not on. its bad manners. If they are working towards inclusions, then the police department needs to be included because there are LGBTQ people in the police dept., armed forces, etc.

    If the BLM group had not been able to achieve an accommodation within the GLBTQ community, then a demonstration is fine, just having it go on for 30 minutes was a tad over the top.

    As to hijacking the event, the Pride Parade in Toronto is simply too big to be hijacked. quite frankly didn't even notice any of it on t.v. just the parade looked good and Trudeau waving and walking was great. First I even heard of the BLM "stoppage" was on your blog. the news in B.C. only carried Trudeau and the parade.

    Now as to the Cons participating, I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt, o.k. that is a stretch, but if they are going to make changes, then their attendance at the event is a good thing. At one time that party was called the Progressive Conservatives and who knows it might be again. We can all live in hope that people and attitude will progress. Not all Cons were/are dislike the LGBTQ community. Politics is more complicated than that.

  9. hi e.a.f.. all you need to know about BLMTO is that they are a bourgeois group of black supremacists and publicity seekers, who are trying to imitate the legitimate BLM movement in the U.S. And trying to make it sound like Canada is Amerika, when it definitely is not. Black people are not being shot by police like they are in the U.S. And if a similar movement was started in Canada, it should be called Aboriginal Lives Matter...

    1. Anonymous3:42 PM

      Hi Simon,

      Longtime reader of your blog, but this is the first time I've commented. I have to second what e.a.f. said: the requests that BLMTO made were not unreasonable, save the exclusion of a Police float, which I believe is necessary to maintain to demonstrate the inclusiveness of the force as a whole, particularly in a profession where "macho" masculinity is rampant. The Toronto Police deserve to march with Pride in full uniform.

      That said, to call BLMTO a "bourgeois group of black supremacists and publicity seekers" sounds awfully judgmental. I think it's fallacious to make that assumption simply because of this incident, then follow up with "Black people are not being shot by police like they are in the U.S."

      To the same extent? No. But try telling that to the family of Andrew Loku. Let's not get too smug on this subject.

      Frankly, the response of Toronto residents to this incident has left a bad taste in my mouth. It's one thing to disagree with the tactics (the heat was nearly unbearable that day), but to heap scorn on BLMTO as an organization and even a concept is a gross overreaction and one Torontonians seem far too eager to jump to. Any comment section is filled with invectives about those "racist" BLM folks who just want money for their pet causes. There was an opportunity to demonstrate nuance, accepting that perhaps Pride was not as inclusive as it could be, while still sending the message that stranding people in stifling, potentially lethal heat was not the way to go about it.

      I just think it's worth toning down the rhetoric a bit.

    2. hi anon...before I answer you let me just say this. As a survivor of anti-gay violence, the Orlando massacre, and what happened at the Pride parade, plunged me into a state of deep depression that I haven't experienced since I was about fifteen. Punctuated by periods of rage at the way, as I saw it, gay people were being bullied again on a day meant to celebrate their survival.

      So now that you know my state of mind at the time I wrote this post, let me just say that the BLM movement in the the U.S. is a legitimate movement which is fighting an epidemic of police violence.

      But that is not the case in Canada, and the core of the BLMTO group is a bourgeois clique, which operates a kind of street theatre reminiscent of the Ecumenical Liberation Army in the satirical movie Network.

      And to make matters worse is guilty of black supremacism. Where "blackishness" is everything and all others are NOTHING.

      And the case of Andrew Loku couldn't be a better example of that chauvinistic view.
      Loku whose case I'm very familiar with, was NOT killed because he was a black man. He was killed because he was mentally ill, as have been an appalling number of other mentally ill people in this city.

      So why is BLMTO trying to make it a black issue? When they should be helping us put a focus on the bigger issue and all those other victims.

      Check out what they say. Ask yourself why they wouldn't sell a t-shirt to a white supporter, due to her lack of "brackishness."

      I'm afraid white guilt is confusing two different movements, and too many are siding with them without checking out the reality.

      And the reality is that although their list of demands seem mostly reasonable, the way they chose to "negotiate" them was all wrong.

      It was a hot day, and those forced to stand there for half an hour were more than just inconvenienced, some of them like Lisa Raitt fainted. And it was all unnecessary when they could have been negotiated at some private meeting with every expectation they would be approved.

      Especially since Pride had included many events on the black and trans struggle, and the star of the show was RuPaul !!!

      BLMTO's actions only created a wedge in the LGBT community on a day that is also intended to celebrate unity.

      A day that we needed to recover from the Orlando massacre, as well as a day to celebrate the fact that a Canadian Prime Minister had joined. For a community that is forced to put up with discrimination and bullying on a daily basis, having BLMTO taking that day and turning it all into a day about them was selfish and arrogant.

      Especially since if we when it comes to hashtags we should be promoting ones like MentallyIllLivesMatter or AborginalLivesMatter because in Canada those are the lives that seem to matter the least.

      And what really shocked and disappointed me was the way that so many straight progressives dared tell how we should feel. Or lecture us about how Pride should be political. When our lives ARE political. How could they not be when gay men are the object of the most violent hate crimes in Canada? Year after year after year. Gay kids are still being bullied to death in our schools, and account for almost 50% of the young homeless. And any one of us could be attacked or killed tomorrow by some deranged homophobe.

      And they dare lecture US?

      So as you can see compared to how I feel, I did tone down my rhetoric. I haven't written another post about that day, so as not to widen the divide, or play into the hands of racists.

      But like a lot of others, I was very hurt and very angry, and our lives matter too...

    3. Anonymous10:42 AM

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I actually read a lot of letters in the Star today echoing the same sentiment. I concur with much you have written, including vehement disagreement with what BLMTO chose to do. But then I have to step back and remember: a lot of these are kids doing some of their first activism. They'll make mistakes. This was a mistake. I still don't believe that invalidates their cause. Even if Andrew Loku isn't not the most erudite cause celebre, this still happens:

      I wish you all the best Simon! You do a service to Canada with this blog!

  10. e.a.f.3:42 PM

    Hi Simon, thank you for the information. The Pride Parade in Vancouver is in August.