Rob Ford PFLAG rainbow Flag raising

Rob Ford makes surprise appearance at PFLAG event

Although he had previously indicated that he would not attend today's flag raising ceremony to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at City Hall, Rob Ford unexpectedly sauntered onto the roof shortly after 12:30 p.m. to take part in the event. And, yes, in case anyone was wondering, the reception was unanimously positive as the mayor received multiple rounds of applause, first upon arrival and later when he read a proclamation decrying homophobia on the part of the City.

Rob Ford PFLAG rainbow Flag raising

Was that so hard? Apparently not. This is what I predicted he'd do when he announced that he'd be skipping the Pride Parade once again this year, but I'd given up hope when he brushed off an earlier invitation from PFLAG. I'm still not sure what the need for secrecy was, but good on the mayor for making it out in the end. It was a pleasant surprise.

Rob Ford PFLAG rainbow Flag raising

Let's not overdo the congratulations, though. Lest we be collectively guilty of unbelievably low expectations, the city should expect its mayor to attend events like this as a matter of course. Baby steps are great, but there's a long way to go before it makes sense to characterize Ford as LGBT-friendly.

Rob Ford PFLAG rainbow Flag raising

Why he didn't stay until the end of the ceremony is also something of a mystery. Just as PFLAG member Jim Callahan stepped up to the microphone to read a message from Leafs GM Brian Burke, Ford and his staff members made an abrupt exit, which sent a wave through the assembled crowd as members of the media chased him into City Hall. The whole scene was rather disruptive and put a damper on what was otherwise an occasion to believe that there's hope for the mayor's leadership abilities, after all.


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