As a Police officer, it is disappointing that the Toronto Police will no longer be marching in pride, in large part because we practically invented pride. If it wasn’t for our efforts raiding bathhouses, assaulting gay men and ruining their lives by prosecuting and publicly shaming them, Pride simply wouldn’t exist.
In fact many aspects of the gay community in Toronto are a direct result of the efforts of the Toronto Police. The vibrant neighbourhood of the Village wouldn’t exist if gay people in the mid to late Twentieth Century felt as safe as other Torontonians. That level of insecurity does not just happen, it can only exist with the hard work and dedication of a bravely hostile police force.
Marching in Pride is a way for the queer community to honour the Toronto Police for all our wonderful contributions. Traditionally when marching in parades police wear their dress uniforms and are accompanied by a pipe band but to honor our roots. But during Pride we march along side police cars and wear tactical vests with loaded firearms to honour our proud history of treating LGTBQ people.
Of course We understand that the queer community can have trouble being appropriately grateful to the Toronto Police Force. I mean most of the kids marching today probably don’t even know that Pride arose as a way to show our officers that we couldn’t literally drive gay men out of Toronto.
Although we are disappointed that we will not be marching in Pride we are looking forward to marching in Black Lives Matter parade in 2032