Some shots of the rainbow that graced the Toronto skyline at the end of WorldPride
Image courtesy of revolked2.blogspot.com
There are a number of LGBTQ sporting organizations within Toronto. From soccer, to water polo, to dodge ball. Teams and organizations range in their competitiveness from friendly to intense or “fierce”, They range in size from teams of half a dozen to leagues of over 500. For a city that only had a handful of LGBTQ sporting organizations in 2000 Toronto has seen an explosion with now close to 50 teams and organizations for people to choose from, and it isn’t alone, cities across the continent have experienced a growth in LGBTQ sports. Why?
First and foremost are the numbers. With greater acceptance more people have come out of the closet. The HIV-AIDS epidemic that decimated the gay and bisexual male community has become more manageable and infection rates have decreased with safe sex practices and awareness. This means there are a lot more people within the community. More people means more interests and more people to join teams and build out new sporting organizations.
As the queer community has gained greater acceptance within society the fringe aspect and counter culture that thrived within it, while still there, is no longer as prominent as it once was. People, younger people in particular, don’t particularly identify themselves by their sexual orientation, it is simply a small part of them. Being gay doesn’t make someone as “different” as it once did. Joining a sports organization before might have been seen as an attempt to appear macho, or pay lip service to the oppressive societal norms that so many had rejected and is no longer the case for many.
Community, love, and friends. It can be hard finding people to date, whether you’re Queer or Straight. While there are bars, clubs, dating sites, and applications like Grindr or Scruff, they often leave a little to be desired. Sporting organizations have allowed people to interact with other Queer people, expand their friendship circle and explore another, more organic, way to meet potential partners. When I first came to Toronto joining a sporting organization was where I met most of the friends i have today and I continue to recommend joining a team or organization to anyone new to this city or any other.
While I believe that the increase in numbers, and greater acceptance has allowed for a greater burgeoning of sports organization within the Queer community, I feel it is the desire to meet new people, develop new relationships (romantic and platonic) that has been the key contributor to the growth,
Do you think there are any other contributing factors to this growth I haven’t mentioned or feel one of the others is more important?
Rob Ford will once again skip the Pride Parade in Toronto. Asked about the event during a debate last night, the Mayor made his intentions clear, and notably without reference to his customary excuse that he makes a family trip on the weekend of the parade. “I’m not going to…
Well it looks like Rob Ford will be missing the biggest event Toronto has hosted since he was elected mayor. You know, because that’s what mayors of cities do, they don’t attend their cities largest events right?
Not that the LGBTQ community is really going to miss him though. The man has never been a friend of the community and has refused to apologize for the homophobic comments he has made in at least two videos now, because apparently when you’re the mayor of a cosmopolitan city like Toronto with a huge LGBTQ community that’s what you do as well.
Time for another mayor who will represent all of the citizens of this great city, instead of excluding the ones who rub him the wrong way (er… or don’t want to rub at all, ugh).
After a video surfaced yesterday of Mayor Rob Ford at an Etobicoke eatery (the Steak Queen) in the early hours of Tuesday Jan. 21st, visually intoxicated, speaking at times in Jamaican patois and calling Toronto police chief Bill Blair a “c*ck sucker”, Mayor Ford responded to video:
“I said I was there, I met some friends. If I speak that way that’s how I speak with some of my friends. I don’t think it’s discriminative at all. It’s my own time, it’s my own time," (source)
Perhaps Rob Ford was so drunk that he doesn’t remember what he said, one of his blackouts #inadrunkenstupor. Perhaps he hadn’t seen the video that he was speaking to the press about. Or perhaps Mayor Ford simply doesn’t understand that calling someone a “c*ck sucker” is offensive and homophobic.
Maybe Ford is just so stupid that he doesn’t understand how that can be seen as homophobic. If trying to belittle another man by saying that he engages in oral sex with other men as an insult in his mind is not offensive and homophobic then he’s seriously on crack.
What truly gets me though is that Mayor Ford was irate when a reporter called him a “fat f*ck”. He clearly took great offense to that, as shown in the video below. But yet he can call someone homophobic slurs and that’s supposed to be okay?
I also take great offense to the fact that the media has not made a bigger deal about this. If a politician of a major US city made that comment the media outlets south of the border would be raking him over the coals right now. There would be outcry and demands for an apology to the Queer community. Yet here so little has been mentioned regarding it and I have heard only one reporter pose a question about it. Passive homophobia, allowing these comments to go unchecked, can be just as bad as the person making the comments.
The media outlets in Toronto should be ashamed of themselves, as should Rob Ford.
The Queer community deserves an apology both from Rob Ford for his comments and from the media outlets for ignoring them.
Mixed feelings about Toronto not going for the 2024 Olympic bid. I’m not sure how competitive the city will be in 2028 or 2032 compared to others. If a North American city gets 2024 it won’t be worth putting in a bid until 2036.
Then I think “do I even want a homophobic organization like the IOC involved in my city anyway?”
The IOC doesn’t even have the guts to just release a statement saying what’s happening in Russia is wrong and they disagree with it. In fact they have said they will punish any athletes who they deem protesting the law (and they refuse to spell out what that means, it could be kissing or even mentioning their partner, it could be wearing a rainbow pin). Their complacency might as well have been approval.
Perhaps Toronto dropping their bid for 2024 is a blessing in disguise. A city whose greatest strength is it’s acceptance (not tolerance) and celebration of others no matter where they are from, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender, physical ability or religion should not be vying for something that clearly does not hold the same value in equality as it does.
Home grown diva Deborah Cox will be opening and performing at WorldPride 2014 Toronto. A little taste to get you in the mood.
The proposed development by the Church Street Community Centre is expected to cost about $100M, one-third of which would be funded by the three levels of government
THE DEAN BLUNDELL SHOW IS GAY. Actually, to be honest, I have never heard of âThe Dean Blundell Showâ but recently it has come under public scrutiny for allegedly derailing a criminal court case wi…
Toronto is carrying on an Olympic tradition that had its beginnings in Vancouver, but has been outlawed for the Winter Games in Sochi.
Another win for Toronto
The 519 Church Community Centre has submitted a report to the city today proposing the development of a new LGBTQ-focused sports and recreation centre. If approved, negotiations will begin with Infrastructure Ontario to build the centre on the Wheel and Foundry Complex, located near Underpass Park….
Go Toronto! If this proposal is approved it will apparently be the first LGBTQ-focused sport and rec centre in the world.