Gay Pride 2010

July 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm (Uncategorized)

Post script to the G-20 post. What a difference a week makes.

The July 4th Pride march in Toronto meant that everything was “back to normal.” No more ugly protests, no more menacing policemen, although there are many in the gay community for whom those are recent memories.

Nevertheless, the marked contrast between the two weekends shows just how far gay rights have come in this country. (When  senior politicians and law enforcement officials jockey for positions and visibility at Gay Pride, you know things have changed). But it wasn’t always thus.  

I went to my first Gay Pride march in 1987. It was fairly small, and the bathhouse raids were not so distant a memory. The Church and Wellesley area, and more specifically , the park behind the 519 Church Community Centre was pretty much the entire parade, save for a short walk along Yonge Street.

A few years later, I went to pride again to sell leftist newspapers, but hardly had we started than organizers came to tell us that they didn’t want leftists selling at their parade. Several sellers formed an ad hoc alliance and argued with the marshalls, pointing out that socialists had been a fixture at the parade since its inception, but essentially we were pushed to the margins. And it continued beyond that day. As Pride grew, fewer and fewer leftists even bothered turning up to sell.

Now pride is about a party. It’s a celebration. The notion of gay rights, gay marriage, gay everything, is for large sections of the population accepted, and therefore boring. Not to say everyone accepts gay rights, but the bad old days appear gone. 

This year there was a minor controversy over whether or not to include Queers against Israeli Apartheid in the march. Many felt that politics didn’t have a place here, others objected to the use of apartheid. Others wondered whether this was one-sided given that there was no Queers Against …. (fill in name of anti-gay group / nation/ religion/ etc) Eventually, it was decided to allow the group to be part of the parade, and again the sky did not fall.

What is once dangerous becomes accepted. Enjoy the party.

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1 Comment

  1. Pride and Black Lives Matter | Notes from Underground said,

    […] Six years ago to this day, I posted a short piece called Gay Pride 201o […]

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