Censorship row hits Canadian gay pride

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Gay pride organisers in Canada have revealed problems with arrangements after some participants have complained about a lack of inclusive family events.

Pride planners do not want to censor behaviour but also want to make everyone feel comfortable to attend.

The problem was revealed at the InterPride conference last weekend, when Bob Fougere, a gay parent, said his teenage grandson refuses to attend the parades because of the nudity.

Mr Fougere said: “I don’t want to criticise the people in the gay community, but there’s this balance that has to be made between the rights and responsibilities of people to have their lifestyles and the way they live respected”

“On the other hand, there has to be a balance in terms of respecting everyone else.”

But former parade organiser Paul Nicholl said attendees should know what they’re getting into,

“I don’t think there’s a need for a balance. I think there will always be people who are upset or unhappy about what they experience, and you will not be able to please everybody all the time.”

He said the goal of the parades is to allow people to express themselves in a comfortable environment, “If that’s offensive to other people, then those who feel offended need to examine why they are offended.”

Boom Boom, a local drag queen said: “I don’t think we’ll ever find a perfect balance. This whole event was started out of controversy, so how do you find a balance in controversy?”

“It’s hard for us because who we want to be is not always . . . who we are expected to be. I couldn’t go to work dressed in drag, I would be sent home.

“It’s great that we can be proud, it’s great that we are talking about censorship, but what about all those people who get beat up on a regular basis because they’re gay?”