Tag Archives: exclusion for inclusion

Toronto PRIDE Bans Uniformed Police From Parade

PRIDE Toronto Executive Director Olivia Nuamah Aligns w/Black Lives Matter, Forces LGBT Police Out of Parade

LGBT Police in Toronto have withdrawn their application to march in the 2018 Toronto Pride parade, after pressure from the Toronto Pride’s executive director Olivia Nuamah thus ending efforts to appeal a rejection by parade organizers. Toronto Pride initially banned police from marching last year after Black Lives Matter demonstrators interrupted the parade to protest police brutality.

The call for a ban is said to have intensified in recent months over police’s handling of a serial killer case that claimed the lives of at least six gay men. But many think that this may be being used as an excuse to hasten Numah’s personal agenda to ban LGBT police from marching because of a small group feel “unsafe” and “triggered” by the officers presence.

Toronto Mayor John Tory acknowledged the difficult situation but said hoped discussions between cops and organizers continue. “I want everyone to be in Pride,” he told reporters. But a rep for the Toronto Police’s union thinks he made the wrong call. “We think that this type of action drives a wedge deeper in the community and policing, and it’s disappointing to our members.”

Nuamah has been pushing her own and the Black Lives Matters agenda of Police exclusion since before she became Executive Director in 2017. Addressing a group of Councillors at city hall last year Nuamah was once again defending the decision to ban uniformed police from marching in the parade. For months, she had heard complaints of exclusion, seen the issue chewed over by political pundits, and has stubbornly stood firm on a decision made in response to a in by Black Lives Matter Toronto at the 2016 parade. They, and a few others others, argued that police uniforms, cars, and weaponry made the most vulnerable parts of the LGBTQ community, who had been targeted by cops, feel unsafe.

Pride Toronto describes Nuamah as a “community builder, mother and artist” with a background in government and non-profit work, as well as a love of music and DJing. 

That experience gives Nuamah “a unique understanding of the representation of trans and queer artists in cultural spaces,” the website states.

Unfortunately though it gives her no understanding of the sacrifice many LGBT police officers make every day and the discrimination that they themselves face from within their job as they try to educate fellow officers.  So Nuamah’s and Toronto Prides “exclusion for inclusion” is nothing more than discrimination and is against all that PRIDE stands for.

St. Louis Gay Group Apologizes for Carrying Blue Lives Matter Flag at Pride Parade

The Balloon Brigade, a participant in St. Louis’ annual PrideFest parade is apologizing for including a Blue Lives Matter flag on the group’s float.

The Blue Lives Matter flag, which symbolizes support for law enforcement, is a takeoff of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some critics say the flag offends groups that work for marginalized populations.

“As the co-creator/producer of the St. Louis Balloon Brigade, I wish to apologize to the members of the community that I have offended,” wrote Chad Carroll in a statement released through #Boom Media, a brigade sponsor, and posted on Facebook. “I approved a flag on our float in the Pride parade that has deeper meaning to some than I previously understood. I have been educated today.”

“We flew the Blue Lives Matter flag in honor of the lesbian daughter of one of our members,” Carroll said in his letter. “She came out relatively recently, and then became a police officer. When I was asked permission for this weeks ago I was only thinking of what a great show of love and respect for his family this was. There was absolutely no political motivation or activism intended by this display.”

Ben James, one of the judges, in a Facebook post prior to Carroll’s statement. “We at the judges tent could not see any of the flags they were flying because they were using their balloons to block our view of them. As someone who personally supports Black Lives Matter, I am disgusted to learn that this flag was hidden from us. And I am further upset that we awarded this to them; knowing now that they had this flag I wish we could take these awards away.”

One other judge said the flag was not hidden but among others representing different groups and on a float decked out with hundreds of bright balloons. 

The group which raises money for an AIDS charity said the group will return two awards it won for its entry in last Sunday’s parade.