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World Pride: watch how far Toronto has come in 33 years

With World Pride Toronto 2014 culminating on Sunday with a massive parade after a week-long celebration, it’s easy to forget that we got here after a long, courageous fight for equality. Guys like Rob Ford remind everybody that homophobia is far from dead, but civic leaders like him are more the exception than the rule these days. Here’s a […]

With World Pride Toronto 2014 culminating on Sunday with a massive parade after a week-long celebration, it’s easy to forget that we got here after a long, courageous fight for equality.

Guys like Rob Ford remind everybody that homophobia is far from dead, but civic leaders like him are more the exception than the rule these days.

Here’s a clip from CBC DocZone’s How We Got Gay showing how far we’ve come since Canada’s Stonewall, when Toronto police executed raids on the city’s bathhouses on  February 5, 1981. This led to the second largest mass arrests in Canadian history (after the War Measures Act was declared during the October Crisis).

The next day, thousands of protesters took to the streets, blocking intersections and telling police “enough is enough.” What emerged was an organized Canadian movement that got us where we are today.

“It really was on an order that had never been thought of,” said Bob Gallagher, a long time LGBT activist. “A lesbian and gay demonstration which was far more angry and far more aggressive than the police ever thought they had on their hands.”

Watch:

You can watch the full documentary here.

Photo: sweetone. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

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