Before the rainbow flag travelled up the pole to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17, Councillor Gord Perks reminded the crowd that there will always be a need for the support of PFLAG.
“We each have a choice in this life. We can choose to be loving, open, inclusive and willing to fight for our brothers and sisters… or we can choose to life with fear and hatred in our hearts. Sadly many people in Toronto still approach inclusion with fear and hatred, which is why we need organizations like PFLAG.”
For the second year in a row, Perks read the City of Toronto proclamation at city hall. Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam, Paula Fletcher, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Adam Vaughan, Sarah Doucette and Janet Davis stood on either side, some holding a rainbow flag.
Mayor Rob Ford did not attend. He also skipped the Proud of Toronto IDAHOT rally on May 16.
Irene Miller, president of PFLAG (parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays) Toronto, told the crowd of about 60 people a touching story of her son’s coming out, how he “played the part” of a straight man for years. “He felt so very alone.”
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was also on hand to lend support. He slammed those who didn’t bother to attend the event to call for an end to discrimination. “Shame on the media who didn’t show up here. Shame on you.”