A Few More Reasons to Be Proud of Pride

Pride parades and celebrations took place all over the world this
weekend and, as I read the headlines and blog posts this morning, I
was surprised and excited to see a few important firsts reported
among the photos of rainbow-clad revelers. Here’s a short recap
of some noteworthy Pride moments from across the globe:

Toronto, Ontario: At Toronto’s Pride celebration yesterday,
members of the Canadian Armed Forces marched for the first time in
uniform. According to the parade’s executive director, it was the
military’s decision to participate openly in the event.

Warrant Officer John McDougall says of the experience, “It’s a
huge thing for me personally. To be able to be in public and be
recognized not just for being a soldier, but for being a soldier
who happens to be gay is amazing.” Several politicians and
members of parliament also participated in this historic event,
which, notably, garnered little protest.

New Delhi, India: Sunday’s Pride parade in New Delhi was the
first of its kind in the city! Several hundred marchers attended
the event, decked out in rainbow saris. Despite the conservative
religious and political atmosphere in India, negative responses to
the event were few, mainly because the government refused “to
give importance to such behavior.”

On a more positive note, however, the city of Bangalore also held
its first Pride celebration on Sunday. Although homosexual acts
have been officially illegal in India since colonization, these
laws are seldom upheld and the outspoken demonstrations over the
weekend might be a sign that change is in the wind.

Alok Gupta, a participant in New Delhi Pride, aptly described the
event as “a national coming-out party.”

Jerusalem, Israel: On Thursday, Jerusalem held its annual Pride
parade in an atmosphere that was considerably more peaceful than it
has been in the past. Over 3,000 Pride-goers marched alongside
2,000 police officers who were on hand to discourage violent

Last year, a man carrying a bomb was arrested just before the
parade began and, the year before, thousands of members of an
ultra-Orthodox Jewish group set fires and threw urine and feces on
parade marchers.

The tone of this year’s parade was noticeably more restrained
than that of many Pride parades in other countries. The violence
that has marred past Pride events is unfortunate and blatantly
unjust. I can’t help but have respect for the marchers who took
to the streets this year, despite the inherent risks involved.
Thankfully, police officers succeeded in keeping protesters away
from the parade route and Jerusalem Pride was able to continue
without any serious interruptions.

If you have any stories from Pride events you or your family
attended, I’d love to hear about them!