Monday, June 23, 2014

GLAAD, FIFA and World Pride

#StopTheSlurs is a rallying cry that GLAAD hopes to spread around the world as anti-LGBT slurs are chanted in World Cup Soccer games in Brazil. FIFA has opened an investigation into the use of the slurs while GLAAD also has requested safe space for LGBT athletes and fans in and around the World Cup.

"FIFA has opened an investigation action against Mexico for chanting anti-LGBT slurs in the stadium of the World Cup. Both Brazil and Mexico fans were reported to be chanting anti-LGBT slurs in their game against one another. Additionally, Russia and Croatia are reported to have unfurled racist and anti-Semite banners. The actions taken by FIFA send the right message that anti-LGBT language is going to be taken seriously. GLAAD will continue to proactively address the use of anti-LGBT slurs in FIFA stadiums, and will continue to ask FIFA to discourage fans from such slurs."
Back home the Toronto Eaton Centre has set up FIFA viewing lounges where you can catch all the soccer action on video walls until July 13. The Trinity lounge also has a video game area and free Wi-Fi.
In support of World Pride 2014 the Toronto Eaton Centre will be featuring Play the Parks from June 24-27. Celebrating diversity with a number of free lunchtime performances in Trinity Square Park.

Meanwhile the gigantic festival centered around the Church St village began during the June 20 weekend and will culminate in a number of parades starting Friday, June 27. The City of Toronto proclaimed Pride Week and the launch of World Pride 2014 on June 20. See the news release after the jump.

News Release June 20, 2014
City of Toronto proclaims Pride Week at launch of WorldPride 2014

The City of Toronto has officially proclaimed June 20 to 29 to be Pride Week, as Toronto hosts WorldPride 2014, an international event that brings together LGBTTIQQ2SA people from around the world to honour their past, celebrate the present and inspire a better future.

"Toronto has a long and proud tradition of advocating for LGBT human rights," said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. "From the 1973 inclusion of sexual orientation in our Human Rights Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy to being Canada's first city to host a same-sex wedding, Toronto has led by example. We can all be extremely proud that Toronto is hosting an international event of this calibre."

Following the official proclamation, read by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), the rainbow flag was raised over City Hall by its creator, Gilbert Baker. Performances by Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Steve Grand and Tom Robinson were capped off with a fireworks and laser light show.

"With the support of sponsors, partners and funders like the City of Toronto, we have been able to organize an outstanding 10-day festival that includes a human rights conference, two marches and the WorldPride Parade, more than 170 affiliated events and partnerships with 17 major art and culture institutions," said Pride Toronto Co-Chair Shelley Craig. "What we have planned is a testament to the inclusivity of this city, this province and this country."

The City of Toronto, Tourism Toronto and Pride Toronto were awarded the event in 2009 through a competitive bid process. This is the first WorldPride celebration ever held in North America, and the fourth such festival in the world.

LGBTTIQQ2SA is an abbreviation used to represent a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirited and allies.

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