MONTREAL, Aug 20 — Hundreds of thousands celebrated Montreal’s Gay Pride March on a sun-drenched Sunday, an event opened by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and marked by a minute’s silence for the victims of discrimination and repression around the world.
“It’s great to celebrate today with everyone. Bonne Fierte! Happy Pride!” the premier told the crowd, dressed in a pale pink shirt and white trousers.
Trudeau was joined by his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and the Canadian-Polish actor Antoni Porowski, who stars in the hit series Queer Eye.
Hundreds of thousands of people, according to organisers, cheered on a colourful procession of pride, which put women in the limelight and observed a minute of silence for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) victims of repression certain countries.
The pride parade, which involved about 10,000 marchers, notably welcomed as a guest LGBTQ activist Kennedy Olango, who is striving for change in his native Kenya where homosexuality is brutally punished.
Olango called for help from Trudeau’s government to change attitudes in his country.
Trudeau, at a press briefing, added: “Can we stop talking about tolerance?
“We need to talk about acceptance; we need to talk about openness; we need to talk about friendship. We need to talk about love, not just tolerance.”
Montreal’s Pride March is one of the largest in Canada, drawing hundreds of thousands of people each year, according to organizers.
Justin Trudeau made a splash in 2016 when he kicked off Toronto’s Pride march, a first for a Canadian prime minister. — AFP