This June, on top of the usual Pride Week festivities that culminate in downtown Toronto’s Pride Parade, the city of Toronto hosts World Pride 2014, an annual international festival celebrated in a different city each year to highlight the culture, achievements, and activism of the world’s LGBTQ people as they strive for full legal and social equality.
Only three cities have been World Pride hosts thus far — Rome, Jerusalem, and London — and Toronto expects World Pride to bring more than $130,000,000 of tourism dollars into the city. So it’s kind of a big deal.
Specifically because of World Pride, teachers in the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) voted to “have a presence in the parade in support of students, teachers, and others in the LGBT community,” according to OECTA president James Ryan. Explaining the group’s convictions, he spoke of “trying to stand in solidarity with a group that is quite marginalized” and “their right to be free from bullying and harassment.”