Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Should Not Be Included In Pride

     With Toronto Pride coming up this next weekend, there is alot of buzz within the LGBT community in the area about whether or not the group "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" should be allowed to participate in the Pride Parade. Mayor Rob Ford informed the parade organizers a few months ago that if the group was allowed to participate in the parade, the city of Toronto would not fund or be a sponsor of Toronto Pride. Of course, many LGBT activists in the area cried foul, saying that QAIA is a legitimate LGBT organization, should be allowed to be included, and that Mayor Ford was stifling the "free speech" of LGBT individuals. 

     Personally, I would have to agree with Mayor Ford's decision, but not necessarily for the anti-hate speech reasons that he gave. As thouse who have read this blog over the months know, I think that every organization, even ones that I do not believe in, should have the right to exist and be heard; because it is only through this discussion can we know why we believe what we believe. But in this situation, I base my reasoning on the very nature of Pride and what it represents. Pride is about bringing the LGBT community together and saying to the world "LGBT people are here, LGBT people should be celebrated, and LGBT people should have rights." The parade is not about making political statements about non-LGBT issues; and it is not about causing divisions within the LGBT community. 

      Based upon the reactions within the LGBT community around North America to this particular group, it does not seem to fit into the purpose of Pride as a vessel of bringing people together. Allowing QAIA to participate in the parade causes division within the LGBT community, at a time where we need all of the unity that we can get. Thus I support Mayor Ford's decision; we should keep Pride as Pride, and not allow peripheral issues cloud our goal of LGBT equality and expression. 

     What do you all think? Is their a place for Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in Pride Parades? What is the overall purpose of Pride; and would their inclusion harm that purpose? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. 

1 comment:

  1. I see your point, though I'm concerned about the precedent it sets and how the argument might be used against other, most notably, the transgender crowd. After all, a lot of LGB people still see transgender issues as "something different from us" and don't care to include them. I could see where some might take your argument a step farther than you intended to exclude transgender issues from pride as something that is too divisive.


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