Boy, have we come a long way… this week marks Pride Week culminating in the much anticipated and celebrated Pride Parade in Toronto. This city and this country has been leaders in diversity and inclusion in contrast to many other countries around the world. First that comes to mind is Russia and their recent winter Olympics. Whether you like it or not, hosting the Olympics puts you on the world stage, and for Russia, their stringent and narrow views on homosexuality were put on a platform for all to see. Despite criticism around the world, they continued to hold their beliefs and the world judged them for it. A year later and the pendulum has swung completely the other way.
The 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto begins in about a month with much fanfare. Similar to the Russian Olympics, it puts Toronto on the worldstage and our values and identity will be showcased for all to see. And thank god for it. Our initiatives include Pride House Toronto – an activation strategy for the LGBTQ communities in Ontario during and leading up to the Games. The initiative is a collaboration of over 12 organizations representing and builds on the success from the Vancouver Olympics. For Toronto, initiatives like this helps strengthen our city as a brand. And we’ve needed it. Rob Ford’s antic had a disgraceful impact on how people viewed Toronto and the people in it. Pride House Toronto embodies Toronto values of diversity, openness and inclusion and offers consistency with how people have historically viewed our brand and it best needs to preserve it. Happy Pride Week!