Ever since the mass shooting that happened at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando, this has been a wake-up call for Toronto to tighten their security for the upcoming Pride Parade that will be taking place anytime this year. There was a meeting with the Toronto police force and the Executive Director of Pride Toronto on Monday, to discuss the security measure that will be enforced during the Pride parade since a lot of people will be involved in it and have most come down to the city’s downtown over the next three weeks.
This was brought to their attention ever since a shooter gunned down innocent people at the Pulse nightclub, a gay nightclub in Orlando (an LGBT club), which left 49 people dead and others in critical conditions. This was recorded as the most terrifying mass shooting in the history of the United States. Chantelois said that it is important for Canadians to send out love and show support to the LGTBQ society affected by the Orlando shooting. Although it is sad and horrific, the Pride parade cannot be stopped and needs to go on, for the fact that it has been this way for 36 years straight. This year’s parade will be dedicated to honour the victims of the mass shooting at the nightclub. He called on people to come have their voices heard, dance, enter gay clubs and march with them, to show they are still going strong as one people who will not allow themselves to be invisible and quiet.
At the moment no specific security masures or changes have been official announced. Nevertheless, the head of police has assured the people that the festival will be very well guarded and secure to keep everyone safe from harm. CTV News Channel was told by Chantelois that the security system will be pretty tight during the Toronto Pride parade.
An event was held by the gay community in Toronto which brought hundreds of people of the LGBT society in Toronto together to mourn and honour the victims of the Orlando shooting massacre. This was a proof that the LGBTQ community is ready to stand up for what they believe in and shy away no more.
Chantelois said, “People understand that it’s important, now more than ever, to be out, to be mobilized as a community and to show love.”
For the LGBTQ community to come together as one to celebrate this Pride, to feel accepted and be who they truly are, safety is a big concern. Chantelois commented that gay clubs are places that should be safe for any person of the LGBTQ community to go and be themselves, which is why the recent shooting has brought fear to the hearts of many. Some LGBTQ members are still finding it hard to engage in any physical interaction in public. However, in gay clubs, they can fully express themselves. and with this latest attack, even gay clubs do not seem as safe anymore.