Editorial: The irony of the Pride Parade fallout

There is an all-encompassing irony surrounding the Black Lives Matter interruption of Toronto’s Pride Parade.

On Sunday afternoon Black Lives Matter Toronto stalled the city’s annual Pride Parade, with a “sit-in.”

The group was protesting, among other things, its belief that Pride Toronto is an “anti-black” organization. The parade was not allowed to continue until Pride Toronto executive director Mathieu Chantelois agreed to a series of demands laid out by BLM-TO.

In a press release explaining the group’s actions, BLM-TO stated Pride Toronto “has shown little honour to black queer/trans communities, and other marginalized communities. Over the years, Pride has threatened the existence of black spaces at Pride that have existed for years.” (Source: CBC)

The actions of BLM-TO set off an immediate ripple throughout not only the Toronto LGBT community, but other such communities and organizations, throughout Canada, and beyond.

BLM-TO was widely condemned for its actions, as people were quick to point out that interrupting a special event for one marginalized group was not a good way for another marginalized group to gain sympathy from the masses.

At first thought, it’s hard to argue the sentiment.

Then again, BLM-TO achieved its goal of the day. Not only did it gain a captive audience with the Pride Toronto executive, it presumably took steps to create a more cohesive Pride community in Toronto, one that is more readily inclusive toward the black LGBT faction of Toronto.

Then the fallout came.

The BLM-TO office has been flooded with hate mail since Sunday. The organization says it is proud of that – it only serves to point out that Sunday’s actions “struck a nerve.”

The irony is in the letters themselves.

It’s safe to assume – and BLM-TO representatives confirm ­– that a certain percentage of the hate mail is being sent by members of the LBGT community; the same community that is in a constant fight to be recognized as equals.

A community working so hard to enlighten the world that we are all the same and we all matter equally, is now caught up on the other side of the battle it is fighting. Rather than being on the receiving end of vitriol, it is spewing hate. Just like the hate it is trying to stop.

So there’s good and bad in everyone, every group, every community. We really are all alike.

–Terry Farrell

 

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