A response to questions concerning why we have chosen to march
this year given the controversies and challenges our
community is facing surrounding the Toronto Pride Parade
We are the Toronto Sisters of JOY. We belong to an order with a long tradition of radical social and political activism. We have taken sacred vows to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt. We have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humour and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit. We move forward and lead by example. We celebrate change, recognize progress and foster healing. We are inclusive, affirmative and nurturing. We stand up for what we believe, refusing to be bullied into submission, silence or complicity. We do not shy away from controversy. We make ourselves heard.
We honour the history, origins and evolution of our LGBTQ2S celebrations and activism. We believe pride celebrations are about coming together as a community and refuse to allow discord between differing opinions to dampen our joy. We believe the current political and organizational challenges in the Toronto LGBTQ2S landscape must not be allowed to overshadow the importance, value and heritage of Pride. We recognize that though we have common goals, the challenges sectors of our community face may contain factors we do not fully understand. That recognition comes without elevating or devaluating others journeys in comparison to ours.
The longevity of Toronto Pride and pride celebrations in Toronto must be cherished and safeguarded that they may persist and flourish. We acknowledge there is more than one way to fight for equality and inclusion but we believe our presence is more effective than our absence. We recognize the vocations that have led us to participate in pride celebrations in the past have neither altered nor diminished. We believe celebrating our pride is about action and visibility for the LGBTQ2S community as a whole and must not be overshadowed by the struggles between groups within that community or beyond. Boycotts only work if there is a considerable and devastating financial impact to the organization, which we do not believe will happen by choosing not to participate in Toronto Pride events, marches or parades. We respect the choices of organizations and individuals who have resolved not to participate as well as those who aim to foster change in other ways. but recognize there are many who will and whom we also have a duty to hold space for and be present with. Our decision to be present for, or decline, pride events must be prioritised based on our vows and callings and not succumbing to undue influence from current issues or conflicts. Our presence at any such event is not an indication of our support or defiance of cause or views outside our own.