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Rob Ford says he will skip World Pride in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / February 6, 2014

Rob Ford skip World Pride TorontoRob Ford will once again skip the Pride Parade in Toronto. Asked about the event during a debate last night, the Mayor made his intentions clear, and notably without reference to his customary excuse that he makes a family trip on the weekend of the parade. "I'm not going to go to the Pride parade," Ford said in response to a direct question. "I've never gone to a Pride parade. So I'm not going to change the way I am."

There's a lot to learn about Ford's identity politics in that last statement. The more obvious response, of course, would have been to say "I'm not going to change what I do" -- but for Ford, attendance at the parade would seem to represent both a political and existential crisis of some kind. In fairness, his attendance might actually change who Rob Ford is, but only insofar as it would reveal an individual who is less stubborn and more open to representing his diverse constituency.

While it should be noted that Ford has attended PFLAG ceremonies at city hall in both 2012 and 2013, his unwillingness to show up at such a crucial event as World Pride represents a failure of leadership, one which cautions against any notion that a year of scandal has worn away at his notorious inflexibility.

Photo by Richard Gottardo



loper / February 6, 2014 at 01:15 am
fuck that guy
John Labatt / February 6, 2014 at 01:31 am
Gays Please Vote for Mayor Rob Ford in the next Erection.
Joey / February 6, 2014 at 01:41 am
I've said it before and it bears repeating: this is a situation that Rob Ford can't win. If he shows up, his presence will be resented and people will lambaste him. If he doesn't show up, his absence will be resented and people will lambaste him.

Not that I feel sorry for him or anything. This is the bed he made for himself and now he must lie in it.
Dina / February 6, 2014 at 03:15 am
Oh who the hell cares!
Rob Ford / February 6, 2014 at 06:19 am
I'm a drunken stupid in a stupor.
Everybody who has an IQ > 100 / February 6, 2014 at 06:24 am
Ford Less Years!!!
DL replying to a comment from Dina / February 6, 2014 at 08:45 am
Exactly. It isn't for everybody.
Borte / February 6, 2014 at 08:48 am
See we already knew you can't change who you are Rob, you gluttonous drug addict.
jay / February 6, 2014 at 08:51 am
So much for staying with the family at the cottage.
Nigel / February 6, 2014 at 09:14 am
Another reason why this bigot should not be mayor, he's a proud homophobe.
iSkyscraper / February 6, 2014 at 09:19 am
I just love how this election is going to strip away Rob's lies until only a dumb, ignorant child is left.
josua / February 6, 2014 at 09:23 am
good for Rob ford... he just doesn't like queers and perverts
keep it going...
Jeremy / February 6, 2014 at 09:25 am
So much has been made of Rob Ford's desire to change himself from all his missteps (the drugs, the drinking, presumably the ass-grabbing). Funny choice of words that he now can't change who he is.

Bart replying to a comment from Jeremy / February 6, 2014 at 09:33 am
So he can't change being a homophobe and an addict, drunk driver, misogynist, wife beater...
bm / February 6, 2014 at 09:39 am
It's sad that the Mayor of one of the most accepting cities in North America won't attend an event like this. Having said that, no one really want's him there anyway.
Sacha replying to a comment from Dina / February 6, 2014 at 09:44 am
You don't think the mayor should have any sort of presence at one of the largest tourism events in the city?

Keep in mind that he does it for literally every single other one.
jae / February 6, 2014 at 09:51 am
Does he know there will be alcohol?
Todd Toronto / February 6, 2014 at 09:53 am
Our first Internet Troll Mayor.
Bob But Not Doug / February 6, 2014 at 09:56 am
Hopefully Toronto will wipe this piece of shit off the bottom of its shoe in the next election.
Sister Twisted Fister / February 6, 2014 at 10:00 am
Clearly it's time the Sisters step in. Don't worry, we got this. Mayor Ford - prepare for a visit from the Abbey of the Devine wood.
Andrea / February 6, 2014 at 10:13 am
First off: I don't like him and he's an embarrassment to our city.

Okay, who really wants him there? Besides that, he does have a right to choose which events he goes to... especially since it's on a holiday. I mean I definitely think that a good mayor, one that would like to represent the culture of our city appropriately should go to Pride --but if they choose not to go.. whatever, fuck that guy.
DL replying to a comment from Andrea / February 6, 2014 at 10:42 am
Pride has very little to do with gay culture and a lot more to do with exhibitionism. The event itself has lost all purpose as a celebration of diversity (which is what it was originally meant as).
Simon replying to a comment from Andrea / February 6, 2014 at 10:44 am
If Ford were to acknowledge the Pride parade, release a statement supporting it and apologizing for his absence and say that he'll be happy to attend this year as it's World Pride and he understands how important it is to the city and the community it represents, I'm sure he'd be accepted with open arms. This is a community that has a foundation based on acceptance and embraces those that admit to their mistakes in the past while showing their support. Given that it's a campaign year I'd expect ANY municipal politician to be making this move.

This is a major event, financially and logistically supported by the city, that'll bring in a ton of revenue for local businesses. Does the mayor of the city have an obligation to be there? Absolutely! He's supposed to be the leader and primary representative of the city. In this capacity, he's been an embarrassment and I'll never understand how anyone that cares about Toronto could support him.
Josh / February 6, 2014 at 10:44 am
At this point, I don't want him there. He's drawn a line in the sand, and I'm happy to be on the opposite side.

Plus, his presence would just turn into a distraction and sideshow.
jae replying to a comment from Andrea / February 6, 2014 at 10:53 am
Pride doesn't fall on a holiday. And it's an entire week of activities.
V. Putin / February 6, 2014 at 10:55 am
Rob Ford is our kind of mayor.
Al / February 6, 2014 at 10:59 am
"I'm not going to change the way I am."

Is he afraid that being around gay people will change him somehow?
Ian / February 6, 2014 at 11:08 am
At this point, I don't want him at the parade, and his presence could be met with a less than warm welcome. That said... his response lacks all logic and expectation from a Mayor.

This year Toronto is hosting World Pride, the FIRST time it has been awarded to a city in North America. The attendance is expected to be in the millions, double than the annual Toronto Pride. The sponsorship, advertising, tourism, the revenue, the international stage... far greater than usual, many benefits for the City of Toronto.

While it may not be his, or everyone's type of event to attend the parade, there are 10 days of events (NONE OF WHICH FALL ON THE LONG WEEKEND) including a Human Rights Conference with delegates, educators, policy makers, etc. which he could attend. He can't even issue a statement of welcome or support.

But no, that was his answer, to brush off and offend the entire event and diverse group of interested people, all while the City of Toronto is on the world stage. Brutal.
Bobo / February 6, 2014 at 11:13 am
What's really sad is that conservative types like Ford and Harper are getting elected in this country because they get the combined votes of the greedy and moralistic.

To see these backwards thinkers in power is disheartening. We need leaders who represent unity, progress and compassion, not divisiveness and self-interest.
Gloria replying to a comment from DL / February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am
Being mayor doesn't mean you get to pick and choose everything to go to. As a representative of the people, your presence becomes something more than just about you and yourself.

And of course, even as mayor, you have your priorities. Some things get more attention than others. That's normal. But not to attend ever, at all, one of the hugest, internationally-known events in Toronto is weird and specific.

And yes, Pride is *for* everyone. That's the whole point.
Bobo / February 6, 2014 at 11:18 am
I think we're missing the most alarming aspect of this public statement. At this juncture, Ford is stating this not just as a personal objection, he is clearly making an appeal to all of those who would agree with him due to their own prejudice.
starvingmusicianskitchen replying to a comment from Bobo / February 6, 2014 at 11:24 am
And that's what makes it so concerning :/
Laxton replying to a comment from loper / February 6, 2014 at 11:28 am
Here Here!
hip / February 6, 2014 at 11:39 am
This is a personal choice - attending or not attending this event has nothing to do with his ability to mayor the city.
Paul replying to a comment from hip / February 6, 2014 at 11:54 am
Public figures can't cherry-pick the events they attend based on their personal comfort zones. Ford is the figurehead of a huge diverse city - he needs to act like it.
Paul replying to a comment from DL / February 6, 2014 at 11:55 am
Let me guess - you get your Pride info the following Monday from the Toronto Sun?
Al replying to a comment from StraightOrGayDontMatter / February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Doug Ford has attended the Pride Parade. This is all on Robbie.
DL replying to a comment from Gloria / February 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm
Democracy is for everyone. That's why I don't care who does what when and sanctioned by who. But somebody who may be uncomfortable with something shouldn't be shit on for being so. Not a Ford defender, but given the list of items the guy can be shat on for, this has never registered as a big one for me.

And, anyway, why the hell would you want to bring somebody who would obviously feel miserable throughout the entire thing? Just doesn't make any sense.
DL replying to a comment from Paul / February 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm
I've been. I get why people may enjoy it and why others wouldn't. Why is that such a problem for people?

Once again, the Pride Parade, in its current iteration, has NOTHING to do with the movement that it evolved from. Zero. Using it as some sort of proof of an anti-homosexual agenda is to politicize something that has moved far beyond political. We are lucky we live in a nation that, legally, is probably as tolerant as a nation can be. The fight's been won. Party all you want. Don't get mad when somebody else doesn't feel like partying. Not sure if you noticed, but there are nearly 9 million people in the Golden Horseshoe and about 100,000 attend the parade on average. He isn't the only one not showing up.
j-rock replying to a comment from DL / February 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I'm astounded that you think the "fight's been won". I will be the first to say that things are definitely much better now for the LGBT community in comparison to how they used to be. Especially in Toronto. But the fight is most certainly not over. Pride is a big, fun celebration, but don't kid yourself, it's still VERY political, and still very necessary.

The fact that the mayor of one of the most diverse cities on earth PROUDLY flaunts his homophobia is proof that there's still a long way to go.

And your figure (100 000 in attendance) seriously underestimates the number of people who attend all the events every year.
Paul replying to a comment from DL / February 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm
a) Everything moves beyond it's original iteration. You and I don't use an abacus, for starters. People are coming out younger, so schools need to recognize gay kids. Gay people adopt more than ever, so parenting laws need to change. You think the original Orangemen parades resemble the current St Paddy's day vomit-fest in Chicago?

b) The fight hasn't been won. I'm not playing victim here, but when local and federal politicans can still get elected because they believe 'Man who lies with man is sin', I'd say there's still a bit of parading to do.

c) He's the goddamn mayor. He's not just one of nine million. That shitsack's gotta represent, whether he wants to or not.

iSkyscraper replying to a comment from DL / February 6, 2014 at 01:00 pm
DL, your comment works perfectly if applied to someone in a private capacity. I personally have no interest in any kind of Pride parade and have never gone to one, whether I was living in Toronto, London or New York. Has no appeal for me, my wife or my kids. So we don't go and we choose other weekend activities. But that's not the point because I'm not holding public office.

We're talking about a MAYOR who will not attend. If you don't want to go to these sorts of big events, don't run for mayor. Please, tell me the name of a mayor of a major city who boycotts gay-pride events. Go ahead, I'll wait for your response. I've looked into this before, and as far as I can tell only the mayor of Oklahoma City (the most republican, extreme right-wing city in the US, and not exactly a role model for urban living) is in the same league as Ford. That's who you are defending?
Grant / February 6, 2014 at 01:37 pm
If this was about the mayor refusing to attend Caribana instead of Pride there'd be rioting.
Terry / February 6, 2014 at 03:27 pm
Indeed - What if Ford refused to attend Taste of the Danforth, another event that draws $ millions in revenues? And in case anyone hasn't guessed, Pride and World Pride are for everyone (not just LGBTQ) - the more the merrier.
Irwin Mimico / February 6, 2014 at 03:35 pm
He dosen't want to attend! Everybody knows that so why should he be fake about it! He could do whatever he wants. Like somebody mentioned, even if he did show up he wouldn't be accepted there anyways. He is in a lose-lose situation. That's why he gets my vote.
Anyone Intelligent / February 6, 2014 at 03:52 pm
Four Less Years! No more Ford!
The Shakes / February 6, 2014 at 06:08 pm
I for one am happy he is not attending, it's kind of like when your drunk, criminal associating, wife-beating, crack-smoking, loud-mouth, lying, no-filter, imbecile, scum bag Uncle tells you he can't come to your wedding. You don't ask why or whine about what a good uncle will do, you simply thank friggin' god that you dodged that bullet!
Dre / February 6, 2014 at 09:46 pm
Who cares there are tons of major events, festivals and parades that mayors have not gone too.

PLUS how many +100K tax payer salaries do we need there? Wynne's already gonna be there representing same sex partnership. Do you think Wynne convinced Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly to go???????? I mean that's the real question.

Your all saying Rob won't win in 2014. Your all saying Rob no longer matters he's been stripped of his powers You all saying Rob is a waste of a Mayor at city hall. Why the Fuck do you care if he comes to your parade??? I mean he was asked not too come to the Santa Clause parade and your crying that he's not coming to gay parade.

He wasn't at Ukanian Fest this year on Bloor w. and everyone had an absolute blast with or with out him. Who cares?????
Rd / February 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm
A drug addict, a criminal, stealing your taxes , and soon enough will be found guilty of murder. We don't want him at the gay pride parade. He is a disgrace, a coward, and a sorry example for canada and his own kids.
Sani / February 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm
Is the Media trying to make a story out of this? You know what Ford didnt come to BloorWest Fest either and I don't give a fuck! The BBQ's were still burning, the beers were still flowin, the music was blaring, the asses were jiggling.
More like replying to a comment from DonnieB / February 7, 2014 at 01:21 am
Crying because the mayor is a bigot. It'd be wrong for him not to attend Caribana also.
iSkyscraper / February 7, 2014 at 09:02 am
I love how out of all of the comments here, no one has been able to meet my challenge of naming a single NA big-city mayor who boycotts his own city's pride events. Amazing how Ford Nation shuts up when you ask them to speak in facts and not tea-party/libertarian rhetoric.

If you want to be the mayor, be the mayor. Ford is not, and never has been, a mayor.

Steph / February 7, 2014 at 09:03 am
Gays are being treated unfairly by the 2014 Olympics and your arguing about the parade?????
Bryce replying to a comment from Steph / February 7, 2014 at 09:37 am
Ever heard the 'act local, think global'? The world is complaining about Russia's gay hate laws while we have our own homophobic Chief Magistrate in Toronto proudly declaring that he won't attend World Pride. So ironic.
Obi / February 7, 2014 at 11:09 am
We don't need Ford there. Wynne will be pulling Norm Kelly through the parade with a dog collar on. How many +$100,000 a year salaries that are paid by the taxpayers do we need at one parade? Come On!
VR / February 7, 2014 at 11:26 am
You wanna act local and think global!? Well Rob Ford hasnt done anything that hurts gay rights, you should be protesting to the Canadian Olympic Committee that has done nothing to protest or protect our athletes and gay visitors to Sochi! All the COC has done is release a statement that the. Olympic Games are not the place for political protest or discussion. Geee thanks! So Putin Gets his way....
Jeff / February 7, 2014 at 01:36 pm
Why does this same discussion come up every year? We know he's not going why are you surprised?

Its freedom of choice. Were all entitled to our opinions and choices AND have to learn to live amoungst those that we don't agree with even those that hate us.

ROB has done nothing to harm or slander the gay community.

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