Not angry, primarily, but conscious. That was the feeling yesterday as Toronto’s 31st annual Pride Parade got underway. There were some Rob Ford masks, there were the occasional angry chants, and there were flashmobs protesting potential cuts to services that benefit the queer community (they haven’t been announced yet, but everyone is bracing)—but these were not the main point. Pride was just as it has been, full of joy and excitement and freedom and love. Everyone’s radars are assuredly tuned to the politics of City Hall in a way they haven’t been in years; happily, this manifested yesterday as fierce pride in Pride, and a strong sense of community. The parade felt less corporate than it has in quite some time, which also helped reinforce the sense that the Parade belongs to the people of Toronto, and any politician should think more than twice before messing with it.
There very well may be bitter political fights coming, but this weekend Toronto got the Pride it deserved, and we were all the better for it.