Toronto
3 min

And their hair was big, very big

Christians have stolen our parade strategies

Credit: Xtra files

Well, it’s official, my friends. The 1980s are back. How do I know? Is it corporate greed in marketing, with resulting consumerism and soullessness? Oh, no.



Was it Duran Duran’s frightful reunion on the MTV Video Awards that makes me think so? Wherein the audience was goaded with a psychic cattle prod to rise to their feet by an ebullient, to the point of mania, Kelly Osbourne.



Is it the Chinese slippers that I saw on a guy on the street? Is that what tells me the ’80s are back? Sadly no.



What is it that makes me so sentimental for big hair and Amy Grant and Kajafuckinggoogoo? What says everything old is new again?



Could it have been the 10,000 crazy Christians marching down Yonge St against gay marriage? Oh my God, yes.



First of all, I don’t mean to nit-pick, and for those of you who didn’t catch a glimpse a few Sundays ago, essentially thousands and thousands of Christians in matching red T-shirts marched along Bloor St and down Yonge in unified protest against gay marriage. I am not kidding when I say it went on for an eternity.



Sure, in the old days an event like that where thousands of creepy people marched down Yonge St hating gay people used to be called “Saturday night.” Or more specifically “Halloween night outside the St Charles.” (Ask your daddy. Or your “daddy.”) But this was shocking. Not shocking that people hate us. But heart-sinkingly gross that they have unified in such huge numbers, and feel no compunction about spouting their hatred in front of God and the House Of Lords hair salon. Is nothing sacred?



Okay, and I don’t mean to nit-pick, but as I caught a glimpse of their colourful banners, their thumping music and their selected parade route, by the time the dancers on the Baptist church float came around and some girl slapped a tambourine on her ass, I thought, “Hmmm, this reminds me of something.”



What could it be? Oh, yes that’s right. Fucking Pride Day! These hateful souls with the dead eyes and their crabby message got their modus operandi from our yearly last Sunday in June, my friends. I think I even saw some of them marching in chaps. And I swear some were topless. And just as with Pride Day – not the ones you wanted to see.



Pride Day has so become part of the fabric of society here, that the creepy Christians had no idea they were parroting us fabulous homos and our brilliant parade with their lame traffic snarler.



When I say they were creepy, it is not because they were Christians, because from what I have read about theology and Christianity, these people have it so wrong that frankly I’m surprised Jesus himself doesn’t come back and fully put a sandal up someone’s ass.



They were creepy because they were completely cult-like and completely devoid of compassion. And because their numbers went on forever and ever. And I don’t mean numbers like, “What A Friend I Have In Jesus.” Or like when I saw Ann-Margret at Radio City and her songs never seemed to end, each one going into a reprise, until later on at Sardi’s having a drink with a friend, swear to God, I expected her to pop out of the peanuts on the bar still singing.



Finally, even after their march, the cloud of crabbiness hung over the downtown area. Including the drivers who couldn’t get through, shell-shocked homos and the generally sympathetic straight people.



And just in case I thought they might not have left their squiddy ink of righteousness in the neighbourhood, I had the great good fortune of being called dyke by a passing psycho wearing a hard hat and a cross.



So it was a glorious, nostalgically ’80s day all around. What’s next? Peppermint Shnapps?



Not that I thought we were too far past that. But it’s funny. Toronto has changed so much in the past 10 years. It really has become such a non-issue compared to the olden times, when a little activism and passive resistance was required. And I don’t mean that in a Northbound Leather way.



From Stonewall to ACT UP, with the ’70s in between, we had to have a little sassiness. And let’s not forget the era of Queer Nation. I myself was arrested in 1991 for gay activism. Yes, that’s right. Mug shot and fingerprints available in the very chi chi Gallery 52 (as in 52 Division of the Toronto Police Service).



I got arrested for spray-painting “Fight Homophobia.” And I learned two things. Cops did not know how to say the word “ho-mo-pho-buy-ay.” And the second thing is that if you are running away from the cops, don’t run into a donut shop.



But we live and learn.



So the creepy Christians have caught Pride fever. If the ’80s are back, could someone please go wake up Eartha Kitt? It’s show time.