The Toronto Police Service recently issued a formal statement saying it “regretted” the 1981 bathhouse raids, but has made no statement on the Pussy Palace raid in 2000 or the attacks on entire trans and sex-working communities through TAVIS as recently as last year.
Our action was in the tradition of resistance that is Pride. We achieved a commitment to our demands despite intense push-back from a primarily gay white male community.
We attempted to ignore the incident, to continue to celebrate, but it hung like a shadow over us, so we left.
Ten years later, on Sunday, July 3, I found myself standing in the sun with the rest of my Black Lives Matter – Toronto team as part of the “honoured group” at Pride 2016.
We brought the Pride parade to a full stop with a list of demands (see below) reflecting the needs of some of Toronto’s most marginalized LGBTQ2SIAA community members.
Black people are one of the fastest-growing prison populations in Canada, and racial profiling and death continue to be the outcomes all too often when police interact with Black communities.
Black Lives Matter – Toronto led every major event in Pride, from the Dyke March to the Trans March.