The big news of the weekend is surely the announcement that Toronto will host World Pride in 2014. Pride is projecting that the event will be five times the size of this year’s Pride festivities while spotlighting human rights around the world and welcoming thousands of additional tourists.
Reaction around the city and country has been decidedly mixed. Sure, the traditional lefty federal parties are lining themselves up for partisan advantage (no word from the Conservatives). You may remember that premier McGuinty included a letter of support for the bid in its application.
And the Toronto Sun has a bizarrely homophobic column heavily relying on Charles McVety and councillor Rob Ford condemning Pride for “ramming this through council.” Someone really ought to tell both these gentlemen that freedom of assembly means that we don’t have to ask the city’s permission five years in advance to throw a private party — it’s a bit like expecting council to approve hosting the Autoshow. If anything, they have a point in suggesting that we know nothing about what Pride is planning for the event, and hence don’t know the scope of city services and government grants required. It sounds like they expect an Olympic-sized event when in all likelihood we’re looking at a slightly larger Pride festival. But that’s a problem with World Pride itself — it doesn’t seem like the pitch was anything more than a statement to the effect that Toronto’s a fun place and Pride will be able to pull something together, and Pride hasn’t been really clear about what World Pride is supposed to mean or look like in 2014.
Reactions on the gay face-blog-twittersphere have varied from congratulatory to “ugh, I can’t believe those bastards are going to make my drive through Church and Wellesley slightly more aggravating for a 48-hour period five years from now.” While it’s true that this bid for World Pride seemed to come out of nowhere (and it’s not like World Pride has really launched itself as a successful tourism event yet), let’s just take a moment to congratulate Pride Toronto and look forward to the wicked party we hope will live up to the hype.
Also on Sunday, a horrifying murder in downtown Toronto. Police say there’s no evidence it’s a hate crime (yet), but friends of the victim are suspicious.