After incoming Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that he is unlikely to attend this weekend’s Toronto Pride Parade – due to the fact the police aren’t participating this year, he really has to organize his stamp collection, his dog isn’t feeling the best, and he’s pretty sure he’s allergic to glitter – organizers from Toronto’s LGBTQ community have said that they will just have to make the best of it without him.
“Yeah, it’s a disappointment,” said Allen Pearl, deputy director of the annual event, and one of millions of people who did not vote for Mr. Ford. “It’s a bit like getting ready to go camping, only to discover that the forecast is calling for perfectly clear skies and zero mosquitoes all weekend. Or going to the movies and having to put up with no power cuts, free popcorn, and zero large men with big hats seating themselves directly in front of you just as the trailers are beginning. You’ve just gotta make the best of it. And have the effing time of your life.”
With less than 3% of those who identify as LGBTQ in Ontario having voted for Mr. Ford, his absence will no doubt leave a large, awkward, graceless void in the section of the parade usually set aside for those who have been ambivalent-at-best towards the gay community, and frequently adversarial.
“I’m just crushed,” said a woman partying on Church Street in the run-up to this weekend’s parade, her arms thrown happily around two friends, all of them sporting large grins and ebullient eyes, as they did their best to not let the news that the least popular straight in Ontario was unlikely to come to their party get to them. “It’s almost as big a disappointment as the time I found out the kid who bullied me in grade eight wasn’t going to the same high school as me. And that took me almost zero seconds to get over.”
With the premier living nearly 0.7% of the width of the province away from the parade’s route, many of those planning to attend said that they understood what an effort it would be for him to have to drive, taxi, take the subway, cycle, roller blade, or be wheelbarrowed to one of the largest annual events in Canada.
“Oh I get it,” said a man with what is clearly the most effervescent flag in the world draped across his shoulders. “Let me put it this way: if Doug Ford was putting on a parade with his friends, I sure as hell wouldn’t go.”