mayor rob ford and pride

From yesterday until this morning  it seems everyone is talking about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s decision not to march in the upcoming Pride Parade as part of Pride Toronto 2011.

Seriously. Is anyone really shocked?

Now don’t get me wrong. I like Ford and I think he’s doing a good job as mayor of our city. But this is a man who lets his brother Doug do all the talking at media scrums.  Did anyone really espect the right-wing, increasingly shy mayor to stroll down Yonge Street in some multi-colored shirt, while “YMCA” blasts in the background? (Toss in a feather boa and Elton John-stun glasses and I’d actually pay money to see that.)

Besides, it’s his choice not to march. If I was mayor — and maybe one day I will be… consider yourself warned — there are a ton of events I wouldn’t go to.  The mayor doesn’t have to show up to every thing — big or small — that happens.

The only thing that doesn’t sit well with me is the honesty factor. Back in May, Ford said he “didn’t know what his schedule will be like” — yet now we are hearing that his planned cottage trip is a long-standing Ford family tradition. How could he have not known about that? Or maybe, walking in the Pride Parade is just not his thing because he feels uncomfortable or doesn’t support the lifestyle.

Whatever the case is, I’d rather he just be honest (although I like I said, did anyone really expect him to march?) and everyone else can just move on and enjoy the weekend.

Pride Week is a huge event that pumps millions into Toronto’s economy and it showcases the diversity of the city and maybe to show people he’s not such a bad guy (as many left-wing people and the media make him out to be) he should have marched in the parade as a publicity stunt. But that would have cheapened the whole thing and people would have known it was just for show.

The real twist is that according to on-line polls, the majority of people in the city either don’t care about his decision or think he shouldn’t change his plans at all. So maybe the media should stop trying to paint Ford in a negative light again and just accept him for who he is.

For those interested, the Pride Parade happens July 3.

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