Proud of Toronto Campaign descends on City Hall
In anticipation of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and a May 24th City Council meeting at which the fate of funding for Pride Toronto will hang in the balance, a few hundred people rallied at City Hall in the hopes that the long-running event won't be put on the chopping block. Named the Proud of Toronto Rally, those gathered also expressed concern regarding sustained support of other services like the 519 Community Centre and the AIDS Committee of Toronto.
Mayor Ford and a number of other councillors were (unsurprisingly) no-shows, including Giorgio Mammoliti, who spearheaded the motion to cut funding to the parade when the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) were allowed to participate in the 2010 parade. Although QuAIAh has indicated that it will not participate this year, Mammoliti wants a letter of guarantee to this effect, the necessity of which will be debated on the 24th.
Councillors who were in attendance included Kristyn Wong-Tam, Gord Perks, Shelley Carroll, Adam Vaughan, Josh Matlow, Ana Bailão, Paula Fletcher, Mike Layton, Sarah Doucette, Joe Mihevc, and others that we apparently didn't spot. At stake is $123,807 and around $300,000 in services like policing and cleanup, funding that Co-Chair Francisco Alvarez says could bankrupt Pride Toronto.
Councillor Ward 27 Kristyn Wong-Tam delivering a speech
Jade Elektra performing
Francisco Alvarez, Co-Chair of Pride Toronto
Doug Kerr (an organizers of the Proud of Toronto campaign)
Founders of Gay-Straight Alliance from St. Joseph's Catholic Secondary School
Video booth where people recorded their thoughts on the importance of LGBT programs and Pride
Photos by Tony Chen