Something came across my Facebook feed recently that I thought I should share here.
At last year's Toronto Pride parade there were issues that many of you are aware of. The end result of those issues had the Toronto Pride Committee banning uniformed police officers from participating in this year's Pride festivities. (I won't even get into the irony of Pride Toronto still expecting the police to be there as security for the event.) I have many acquaintances and friends who are either police officers, or have family members who are and I can tell you, Pride Toronto's decision hurt them deeply. There have been a lot of strides made for LGBTQ officers to be accepted, and this puts a stain on their accomplishments. I know there are issues still to be resolved in the LGBTQ community and law enforcement, but I've never found excluding a group solves anything, and generally only leads to polarized positions.
In response to Pride Toronto's decision a small group decided to spearhead their own celebration, in honour of first responders. The celebration, dubbed the First Responders Unity Festival is being held on June 25, 2017. I hope the festival is well attended, and these first responders enjoy a day meant to honour them and their fight for acceptance. After watching police officers in London racing towards the danger a day ago, I feel like they could use a little extra appreciation right now.