Queer Toronto, Get your Shit Together

Image: Instagram/@pridetoronto

Pride Month in Toronto is finally here, and all I can think is that the Queer Community of Toronto needs to get their shit together.

Last year during the Pride March, Black Lives Matter Toronto caused some controversy with their sit-in and the demands that followed. Causing a massive ripple that has since affected the community, in both positive and negative ways, we now stand divided.

I’m not here to take sides; I’m not here to give my opinions on any of that or to play the blame game.

I’m here as a reminder because right now this community is so divided with people wanting to boycott pride, and those praising its decisions to ban uniformed police officers.

Image: Instagram/@pridetoronto

I’m here to remind you of Jasmine Sierra of Bakersfield, CA who’s suspicious death in January 2016 was only discovered by friends in March because police and media didn’t use her correct gender, but rather, the one on her birth certificate.

Or Shante Thompson of Houston Texas who was beaten with a crowbar by a group of men before being fatally shot on April 11th, 2016. This by the same group of men who had been bullying her for a very long time.

That’s two names of the 27 transgender people killed in 2016, many of whom were given the wrong names and wrong gender in the media.

I’m here to remind you that Chechnya has gay concentration camps in 2017… think about that. Concentration camps! Forty people have already been rescued from these camps, but so many more are still there being beaten, with the world turning a blind eye. The Chechnyan Government has told families to kill their gay children or the government will do it for them.

Last, I’m here to remind you that two gay men were publicly canned in Indonesia for their sexual preference. To add, the Indonesian Government has just created and launched a special “task force” to target the LGBTQ community with 141 people arrested on May 21st.

These reminders are but a few of the hundreds of reports of death, attacks and hate crimes on the queer community around the world.

So I’m here to remind you that yes, Toronto may have its issues and we’ve got a long ways to go… But we sure as hell are a lot better off than most places, including our next door neighbours in the U.S. But – we will never achieve these goals of unity and peace when we stand divided within our own community. Right now, we need to stand together.

Image: Instagram/@pridetoronto

If you want to boycott the festivities of Pride, that’s fine – but don’t boycott why we Pride.

Now more than ever we need to stand together. Go to an independent party, or throw your own. I don’t care. Just make sure that you stand with your community… scream, shout, march, dance… whatever you do, do it loudly! Make the earth shake so that our Pride can be felt around the world.

Do what you can, do what you must! Except for glitter… that shit stays on you for weeks.

RELATED LINK: The Top 5 Pride Festivals You Need to Visit in the World

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Michael Lee is a hobby writer, baker and all round creative individual. He lives and works in Toronto, building up his rescue for Senior Dogs.

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