Thursday, May 28, 2009

wait wait wait... toronto pride ISN'T political?

this year pride toronto is selling t-shirts and merch that say "I BELONG" and "CAN'T STOP/WON' STOP" on them.. very interesting considering the following:

yesterday at rabble andrew brett wrote about how "pro-israel" lobbyists(b'nai brith) threatened the government and corporate sponsorship of the toronto pride festival unless pride bans pro-palestinian marchers from participating in the parade.

apparently martin gladstone has met with and written to the pride committee many times asking them to ban queers against israeli apartheid( a totally legit group, btw), claiming that their presence has "very eerie parallels to nazi germany"

umm... you know what else has parallels to nazi germany? banning groups from participating in their community's own parade and festivities and punishing people for their political beliefs by pulling these seedy and totally unethical 'im holding your funding hostage' moves.

remember how under the nazis homosexuals were also persecuted?

b'nai brith did this last year as well after pro-palestinian marchers participated in pride i guess this year they're threatening to "go after funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, the City of Toronto, Heritage Canada, and corporate sponsorships."

gladstone has said that the city of toronto and td canada trust, who are major sponsors of the event, have both contacted the pride committee and expressed their "opposition to the inclusion of the anti-apartheid contingent."

this morning an update was posted that pride banned queers against israeli apartheid. according to their statement
"Pride Toronto wishes to state publicly that it is a non-partisan organization created to serve the LGBTTIQQ2S* community of Toronto in all its cultural, religious, ethnic and sexual diversity. The organization does not have any affiliations whatsoever to political entities or causes."

complete and total fucking bullshit. really? the organization does not have any affiliations whatsoever to political entities or causes? what about the corporations whose money you're beholden to, those corporations ARE affiliated to political entities and causes and by affiliation pride is as well.

also, thanks pride for deciding who and who may not participate in an event that is supposed to be inclusive.

ANYONE who is participating in toronto pride this year should not do so unless they contact pride and tell them how disgusted they are with their decision. pride is pride, and queer political groups should have just as much right to march as anyone else--queer political groups are the most targeted, the most marginalized, and the most willing to go to the frontlines to fight for queer rights and pride toronto is just going to ban them?

right, because its just better to fucking plaster yourself with corporate logos and glitter and strip your clothes off down church street because pride "isn't political."

like it or not it IS political and this decision sets a disgusting precedent that noone should feel settled with. queer and gay rights don't exist in a vacuum, they are intrinsically linked to political and human rights across the globe and to ignore this issue and just march around all day pretending that all is well with the world is not only lieing to yourself and your community but also being totally complicit.

do something, we don't let people tell us who we can fuck or love so why is it alright for the pride committee itself to ban people from participating in their own fucking parade!?

this is a list of pride's sponsors(including bud light, pepsi, pizza pizza, yellowtail, trojan, and via rail), pick one, send them an email:

http://www.pridetoronto.com/sponsor/sponsors/

city of toronto helped this happen? write the mayor and tell him what a douchebag move this is:

mayor_miller@toronto.ca

td bank put the pressure on? if you're a client call your bank, i am a td client and i'm going to call today and tell them i'm closing my account with them:

phone: 1-866-222-3456

email: td.capa@td.com

you can go here and contact b'nai brith directly: http://www.bnaibrith.ca/contactus.html

and let's not forget pride toronto, who would have us throw away our politics for one day in the sparkly corporate sponsored sun: office@pridetoronto.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am gay and I am disgusted with Israel for the treatment of Gaza, but I am happy they banned this group. This is about Gay pride and there is a time and place for everything.

tee said...

fair enough.

i think what's most important is that you have the right to comment here and voice your opinion, that you get to make the choice whether or not you march in pride, and that others have that same freedom.

there is a time and place for everything but we can't forget that pride was originally an organized response to the open and violent discrimination of the lgbtq community by the police and society at large.

this group was able to march last year, without incident, under corporate/city pressure the pride committee decided to revoke their right to participate..i don't see that as having anything to do with gay pride.

if you wanted to write a longer piece about what exactly about this decision makes you happy and why you think it's justified then we'd be more than happy to post it on the blog.

m. said...

I disagree. The de-politicization of the LGBT movement and subsequent total lack of awareness of intersecting oppressions does not serve any community except for the corporate one, which picks and chooses which limited rights it will graciously bestow upon gays and lesbians...as long as they stay in their place and don't make anyone uncomfortable.

Leonardo said...

We just need to bring back Pride Toronto to their origins, when 30 years ago was:

a. gay liberation movement that has transformed the oppression of the LGTTQQ2S community into pride
b. organize a major demonstration held at Yonge Street and Wellesley
c. public awareness of queer issues & human rights rally/march to protest against homophobia
e. non-corporate
f. grassroots movement
g. fighting for humanity

Humanity, Unity, Solidarity...

Skinny Dipper said...

Drink Diet Gay Pepsi.

If people from the LGBT community cannot support the Palestinians, who outside the LGBT community should be able to support the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and others?

I should just stick to writing about un-gay and un-Middle East stuff.

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