The month of June was celebrated as the International Pride Month, and Canada one upped itself with its celebrations this year. Pride 2019 comes 50 years after the infamous Stonewall Riots of New York. For the uninitiated, the Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous violent demonstrations by the gay community against a police raid on June 28, 1969, at Stonewall, New York. Toronto's Pride parade held on June 23, was one of the largest of hundreds of pride celebrations across the country.
Crowds gathered by the hundreds and lined over a dozen downtown blocks to celebrate the annual parade. Among those attending were high-profile politicians like Prime Minister Justin Trudeauu, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and Toronto Mayor John Tory. A regular to the event, Trudeau waved a rainbow flag featuring a maple leaf as he led members of his cabinet through Toronto's downtown.
My husband and I participated in the parade too. While we knew almost no one, we made friends instantly from the crowds. They danced with us, sung with us, and we created what seems to be an everlasting bond. The roads were strewn with people decked in the most eccentric outfits and the energy was out of this world.
To readers wondering why this choice of topic this week, I have no special reason nor agenda. The need for 'inclusivity' surged from a series of partial and conservative reactions to individuals who dared to stand. For ages, those who haven't followed the "normal" path, have been shunned or mocked for being different. While times have changed and acceptance has grown worldwide, I can't help thinking why the need for acceptance?
Why does the gay community have to attain consent from the society? Why can't we realise that no two persons are the same and in that lies our uniqueness. The LGBTQ community has fought for recognition for decades and this year, I had the privilege of celebrating them for the first time in my life. I was humbled.
The vivacity of the crowds dancing and marching across downtown gave me inner strength. Each participant phenomenally stood out in their capacity and I couldn't be more proud.