By: Mark Abdul Da Silva, Vice President of Big Synergy Marketing Inc.
I’m disappointed to see the divisiveness caused by the conflict between Toronto Police Services and Black Lives Matter Toronto tearing apart Pride. Instead of looking at all of the political controversy that divides people, we need to reflect and return to the true meaning Toronto Pride: an opportunity to celebrate corporate sponsorship and shameless advertising.
Corporations have always backed the gay community even at the Bathhouse Raids back in 1981. Or at least they were there in spirit. These multi-national conglomerates and big banks knew that the community’s values of acceptance and equality would one day become valuable.
Some say that the police presence in the parade makes people of colour feel unsafe given the police’s record to racial discrimination. Others feel that the police belong since they’ve made a lot of progress in accepting all kinds of sexual orientations in recent years. But this is a total distraction from the green TD booty shorts, or the cool Trojan rub-on tattoos that can be used by anyone regardless of sexual orientation.
These strong opinions are really killing the buzz from consuming important products such as Stoli vodka or Bud Light. How would the LGBTQ community be liberated if they didn’t know Shopify was sponsoring their parade? How would the parade go on without a giant inflatable Viagra pill sponsored by Pfizer? Where would the celebration be sans $5 bottled water brought to you by Eska?
At the end of the day, we all wear the same clothes (from Winners), watch the same television (CTV, City24), and purchase the same auto and life insurance (from Manulife). And that’s something to be proud of.
Now, let us all have a Palm Bay beverage and get along.