Attendees at last year’s pride parade | Photo: Facebook/Pride Toronto
There will be a different air during Toronto’s Pride celebration this year. The event’s pride parade will be held 24 June. However, it will not feature the sea of color normally seen at pride events.
At this year’s parade, organizers are asking attendees to wear black for the victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. They will also honor the ten people who died in the van attack on 23 April.
So far, Toronto police have charged McArhur with the murders of seven men. He reportedly used gay dating apps to set up meeting with the victims, all of whom so far were people of color.
This is not the first change for the city’s plans for Pride. They already asked police not to participate this year, following tensions between the force and the community.
A period of ‘huge trauma’
Olivia Nuamah, Pride Toronto’s executive director, explained to the Toronto Star that the clothing request signifies ‘that while the festival goes on this is a period of huge trauma for the whole city, particularly the LGBTQ community’.
There will also be a moment of silence following a mourning procession for the victims.
For a celebration known for its colorful scheme, a vision of black certainly makes a statement. Volunteers are also set to wear black.
‘The one thing that feels celebratory [about Pride] is the colour and the one thing that we’re really trying to take away this year is the colour,’ Nuamah said in a statement to CBC.
‘Even though we understand that we’re celebrating, we also need to deal with some hard truths about the LGBTQ community and the issues of safety that we still suffer.’