Daniel A. Betts
OPINION -- The Torch Online Media photographer Daniel A Betts has chosen not to cover LGBT Pride events in Toronto as he's done for the past three years.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 Daniel donated his services covering the annual Pride Parade and staying to take pictures of the guests which he would then deliver at no cost to them. More can be read about the history of LGBT/Gay Pride in Toronto in our Torch Online Media exclusive article Here.
When asked why he has chosen to discontinue supporting the sector of society his own mother has been a player in since the early 1980's, Daniel said "I take no shame in admitting that I absolutely do not support nor endorse the LGBT Pride festivities in Toronto this year, or until further notice.”
“I would absolutely love to resume supporting Toronto Pride festivities with the same jovial and upbeat demeanor as I always have, but I cannot and will not support and endorse the exploitation of the LGBT sector and its' members by the political and commercial motivations of most - but not all - current sponsors and corporate participants in Toronto's LGBT Pride festivities. I'd rather travel to a city, province, state or country and support Pride festivities that are celebrating Pride for what it truly stands for. Embracing diversity and increasing inclusivity - regardless of race, creed, colour or political viewpoint".
The biggest change – the lack of police marching in the parade – is due to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Toronto group holding the 2016 parade hostage until Pride organizers agreed to their demands, one of which was to ban police.
You can read our story on BLM and what they did to Pride 2016 Here.