It's no secret that there has been a prominent divide between the Toronto LGBTQ+ community and the police. Though it's not hard to understand why, especially considering the slew of murders that targeted members of the gay village that went for the most post ignored by the police until earlier this year. As a result many members of the queer community called on the Pride organization to push police out of the annual Summer ceremony.
Pride Toronto stayed hush on the subject up until last night when they released a lengthy statement on Twitter detailing their position on the matter, and ultimate request of the police:
Joint public statement about police participation in Pride Toronto's 2018 parade. Signed by The 519, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, Sherbourne Health Centre, ASAAP, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) and Pride Toronto. #prideto pic.twitter.com/oG5XFyaD5B— Pride Toronto (@PrideToronto) April 3, 2018
The statement details the pain and grief that has come from the Bruce McArthur investigation, especially while knowing the police were not 100% committed to the investigation from the get go when many of the victims went missing. With that in mind organizers asked the police to "withdraw their application to march in the 2018 Pride Parade."
While some people were happy with the decision made by Pride organizers, some weren't as impressed and it seems that the Twitterverse is quite divided on the topic:
As a proud member of the #LGBT community I find this statement incredibly disappointing. Excluding groups from #PrideTO goes against the core message of #Pride which is inclusion. Diversity is our strength, let's work with the police to generate change instead of excluding them. https://t.co/q5RQ0oIbUI— Patrick Schertzer (@patschertzer) April 3, 2018
Toronto Police trying to constantly force themselves into the Pride Parade while simultaneously targeting the LGBTQ community, ignoring their pleas for help while a serial killer stalked the community, & then blaming them for not "helping enough"...is just gaslighting! #prideto— 💋Mouthy Gurl💋 (@mouthygurl) April 3, 2018
Pride Toronto: 2017 "I can't believe BLMTO would be so crass as to suggest no cops allowed wow!!!"— Azure (@aguyuno) April 3, 2018
Pride Toronto 2018: "pls no cops show up this year, this is our original thought we came up with by ourselves"
Whatever. Baby steps or something.#PrideTO https://t.co/8wxfICqHsQ
While the Toronto Police have not released a statement in response and as of now haven't revoked their application yet, the show will most definitely go on. This year the Pride Parade will be running from June 22nd-24th in the downtown core.