Today marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and with Pride 2018 for Toronto and New York in the rear view mirror this day passes us like boxing day, a less interesting less fun event post the commercial extravaganza that is pride. In 2017 NBC news stated that anti-LGBTQ+ homicides raised 86%, Miami pride this year was met with fatal assaults on queer persons and Canada immigration process for people who are HIV positive is particularly extensive and exclusionary. Queer people to this day are fighting an uphill battle, but due to the large diversity of the queer community we tend gear the motives of the community to the people who have the most power and privilege.
Queer rights have become the token branding for diversity due to the ability to completely severe itself from pain, we've reduced the whole movement to acceptance or dismissal (which is still excruciatingly vital for queer people). Pride Toronto's theme this year was 35 years of AIDS activism but didn't really find place within the week of festivities which mostly includes, drinking, drugs and sex. The Queer community is exceptionally susceptible to victim blaming, due a lot of the movement lies within identity and expression. The community has spent so much time adapting itself to look like a non threat or issue, it seems as if now we must work towards being taking seriously.
There's an ongoing debate on police attendance and surveillance at Pride and on the question of corporate of sponsorship, but how can the Toronto police be a part of a movement that they seem to constantly forget. Personally I believe in bridges not borders, but respect must flow two ways and the police must make an effort when their PR isn't on the line
Bruce Mcarthur, a jolly Toronto gay village frequenter just was arrested and charged with the murders of at least 5 murders and was exposed to the many of the recent missing men from the gay village. Gay men from Toronto have been going missing for decades without explanation, the connections between these missing people only grew to a notoriety in the summer of 2017 when the number hit and undeniable correlation was exposed. As recently as December 2017 the Toronto police force ruled out the notion of a serial killer, although they were tracing him beforehand they allowed him to almost secure yet another victim that was saved from being tied up in his home. Bruce and his victims aren't really the ideal narrative for the gay community especially due to the fact that such atrocities came from the hands of someone within the community who used to frequent the Church and Wellesley area.
As Queerness moves into mainstream society we need to make a point that Queerness needs to be respected, recognized and protected. If we are not all free, then non of us are free.