Sunday, July 03, 2016

Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and the Gay Pride Parade

For almost ten years Stephen Harper waged a stealthy war against gay Canadians.

He forced a second vote on gay marriage, he voted against every gay rights bill that ever came before Parliament, including those designed to protect gay people from hate crimes.

He cut off funding for all LGBT organizations, he did nothing to fight homophobia, and nothing to protect gay kids from being bullied to death. 

But today Justin Trudeau is about to make history.

By becoming the first Prime Minister to march in a gay pride parade.

The one in Toronto today, and the one in Vancouver later this summer. 

And for more than a million gay Canadians it will be a very big deal. As it should be a big deal for every decent person in this country.

For it marks the moment when an embattled community's struggle for equality and respect is finally recognized by its own government.

After being treated for so long as if it didn't exist.

And coming so soon after the Orlando massacre that deeply affected LGBT people in this country as well...

It couldn't be a more welcome gesture of solidarity.

And by being at today's parade Justin will also be joining the rest of us in standing up to this latest threat to kill us from the ISIS crazies.

And helping us to send out the message that we are not afraid.

And of course that love is not a crime...

Which is also a message that sadly still needs to be repeated.

For although LGBT Canadians have made a lot of progress in their long struggle for equality, they are still discriminated against, still bullied in our schools, are still the victims of the most violent hate crimes.

Most racial or religious hate crimes in Canada involve only mischief, but violence occurs in two-thirds of the incidents in which sexual orientation is the key factor, new data released Thursday suggest.

And are still insulted and threatened in the most deranged manner.

Homophobia and hate is still rampant in our society — just ask Pride Toronto.

“If you were my child and you turned out gay I’d burn you alive,” said one particularly vile message.

So there is still a lot of work to be done, and many battles to be fought before our long struggle is finally over.

But at least the bestial bully Stephen Harper has been defeated...

At least we survived his decade of stealthy bigotry.

And at least now we have a new and decent Prime Minister...

A real friend of the gay community, and a Prime Minister for all Canadians.

Who is about to find out how much that community and its straight friends and allies love him. 

For I can only imagine what a million people cheering him wildly as he goes by will sound like.

So although we will be mourning our dead, and have to face more threats to kill us, just for being who we are and who we love.

It will also be as it always is, a day to celebrate our survival.

It will be a historic occasion.

And a rainbow day to remember...

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  1. It's an improvement. Happy Pride Simon!

    1. hi thwap...thank you and Happy Pride to you too. Yes it is an improvement, and for a community that is always under attack every day of the year, it's very welcome. I'm sure most gay people in this country never even dared dream of having such a supportive prime minister, who doesn't just tolerate us, but actually seems to like us...

    2. Anonymous9:47 AM

      You do know that Justin sympathizes with those ISIS thugs and is letting them back in the country. That not an improvement.

    3. Anonymous9:47 AM

      Who's approval do I need?

  2. Let's see, the PM, the Premier & the Mayor. Bit of a change since the evil Steven and the fatuous Ford. Heavens the atmosphere in Canada has improved---it was not just closing those coal-fired plants.

    While Harper's dislike of the LGBT community was/is very nasty I don't think one should feel that he picked it out especially. He hated women, minorities, non-Christians, and, possibly, gerbils probably almost as much. He has a well-rounded personality.

    1. hi jrk...yes the atmosphere sure has changed, and it does seem like Canada again. Having a Prime Minister, a Premier, and a Mayor attend the parade is so great after the ghastly Harper and the blustering bigot Ford. I still have to pinch myself to believe it...

  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Enjoy Simon! Ours is in the middle of August here in Mtl. Never been to one before but this year I'm gonna check it out. Have fun!


    1. hi MC.. yes, I did, and I understand the Trudeau will also be marching in your parade in August. So that should be fun...

  4. Anonymous12:53 PM

    A great day for the LGBT community in Canada. While I may not agree with you that he is "a Prime Minister for ALL Canadians" as his pre-election talk certainly does not matching his post-election walk. I do agree that is a great step forward for many of my friends of this community!!!!!! Lets see how engaged the morally depleted Kellie Leitch really is... She is really going to have to fake this performance!!! ha ha FP

    1. hi FP...what I mean by the Prime Minister of all Canadians is that unlike Harper he is open to all, whether you support him or not. I don't agree with everything Justin is doing, but the good far outweighs the bad or the dubious. And it's so much better than what we had before...

  5. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Happy Pride everyone!! And what a wonderful Canada Day it was after the previous 9 miserable ones. It was hard to celebrate with our country in the grip of a Tyrant. Justin and Sophie made this one really Special. Justin makes my heart swell with Pride and Sophie wiping away Azziza's tears made me cry too Simon.
    Of course we know how our Joy will affect the Harper Cons who are probably plotting another attack on our happiness as we speak. They hate our love for a decent caring Prime Minister and his beautiful wife who have made us love our country again. We'll make sure they never get their filthy hands on it again. ❤️💚💚💜 Pamela

    1. hi Pamela...yes, it was a fairytale Canada Day wasn't it? The atmosphere was a bit like the celebrations in Oz after the wicked witch expired. And yes little Azziza was so cute, and since she lost her father in an industrial accident in Lebanon before they were able to come to Canada, I'm glad that she is happy to be here..And yes we live in a different and better country...

  6. Anonymous4:21 PM

    The PM's attendance guarantees security at these parades will not be an after thought.

    It seems everyday brings a new reason to be thankful the Con fog has been lifted.

    1. hi anon...well tat's true, there was a stepped up police presence even on the side streets. But you also have to worry that Justin's presence could attract some crazy, so thank goodness that everything worked out so well yesterday...

  7. Anonymous8:56 AM

    While he may not have marched in Pride, I can't think of a PM who surrounded himself with more gay advisers than Harper did. And like the "great man" himself, his advisers had a fetish for closets.

    Hope you enjoyed yesterday's parade!