Kelly McParland writes at the National Post:
It’s getting extremely complicated for sympathizers to demonstrate your support for gay rights and the LGBTQ community by marching in one of their parades.
There was a time when everyone was welcome. Marching in the parade was considered a demonstration that old biases were eroding and good sense was breaking through. Former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman resisted appearing at Pride, but realized it was the right thing to do and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He publicly urged successor Rob Ford to do so as well; Ford’s refusal was one of the numerous unforced errors he made as mayor.
The easy days are over, however. Pride has become very choosy about who is allowed to join its club. Just because you turn out in your comfortable walking shoes to pad along a few downtown streets under a rainbow banner and some multi-coloured balloons doesn’t mean your attempt to demonstrate oneness with the cause will be considered acceptable by the organizers of the parade and the community they represent. You may, for instance, find yourself branded as unacceptable due to membership in a career group some members of the Pride community still consider of dubious intent, despite all its protestations of sincerity.