Monday, September 26, 2016

The Case for a Pride Toronto Foundation

There's a pink elephant in the room every time criticism is raised about Pride Toronto; the organization is structured to serve white gay men’s agendas. All the forays into diversity it has achieved have been tangential to pleasing this core demographic. 

Legitimate claims of racism, ableism, and corporatism marred 2016's festivities, but how couldn't they? The idea that a committee of directors, staff, and volunteers can meet the demands of Toronto's diverse queer communities is ludicrous.

Blinded by ego and good intentions, Pride Toronto suffers a crisis of representation. A small group believes they can represent a vast population across immeasurable difference. 

Pride Toronto would have to spend half, if not more, of its resources on community consultations attempting to be representative, and it would still likely fail. Please see Pride Toronto's latest community update following a most contentions town hall meeting. Denying this reality will only lead to more conflict, protest, and dejection. 


Let's raze the institution of Pride Toronto, and in its place, resurrect a Pride Toronto Foundation. Devolve the bulk of event planning to community groups through a generous granting program, and empower communities to represent themselves. This approach is inherently a better community relationship than trying and failing to achieve representation on behalf of marginalized people.

I doubt I'm alone in the suggesting we burn it down, and built it back better. 

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