This morning, 30,000 people were given the chance to do something that, not too long ago (and still, in quite a few countries) they wouldn’t have been able to do: they were able to march down the street, showing the world that they are happy to be who they are and happy to be part of a land where they’re accepted.
One of the most poignant floats involved a gay couple visiting from the United States who, in front of a crowd of almost 1.2 million people, reenacted their wedding vows from the night before.
Etherington and Elwood tied the knot surrounded by family and friends and revelers celebrating the city’s 32nd annual Pride Parade.
On a float decked out in wedding white, with signs that read “Long Live Love” and “Here come the Grooms,” Etherington and Elwood wore light grey suits. Prompted by humanist wedding officiant Mary Beaty, they exchanged rings, and shouted their vows and their “I do’s” into a microphone.
Then the grooms kissed and the crowd roared its approval. (From the Toronto Star)
Regardless of what you think of Pride, or how you celebrate it, we have a lot to be proud of. Toronto isn’t perfect, but we do have an amazing queer community up here and an incredibly supportive structure to bridge the gap between lesbians, gays, straights, bisexuals and trans folk. There will always be room for progress, but we should be proud of what we have: gay marriage, equal rights, GSAs to support the younger LGBT kids . . . Not too shabby.
If you take away anything from today, hopefully it’s that we’ve worked to make Toronto what it is today, and we can work to push it further. And for those people visiting Toronto from areas that don’t have rights as advanced as ours: stand in solidarity with them. Eventually, we’ll crawl out of the primordial soup of the Dark Ages and evolve into better beings. But for now, let’s be happy with what we’ve worked for, and then work a little more.