Pride marches have become increasingly bureaucratic and otherwise complicated affairs with permits, sponsors, wristbands, and more. This year, largely as a result of the ongoing global pandemic many events were canceled and those that continued on were mostly bare-bones affairs. One such event happened in Emo, Ontario, where hundreds gathered in an "ambush" event after the town council rejected a resolution to recognize June as Pride Month.
Back in May, a group petitioned to have June recognized as Pride Month in the small town, as it's recognized across the United States and in many other parts of the globe. At the time, the town council voted against the idea calling it unfair because there's no Straight Pride flag or affiliated event. We would like to note here that there is a Straight Pride flag and affiliated events that have been routinely under-attended and contain multiple ties to alt-right and white supremacist groups. It's also worth noting here that in 2018 the town did recognize Pride month.
“We have one flagpole and there’s no flag being flown for the other side of the coin,” Mayor Harold McQuaker said while discussing raising the Pride flag for the designation. “There’s no flags being flown for the straight people.” Well ... that's an argument to be had another day!
The organizers behind Borderland Pride, who put on several different events, began to plan a Pride in spite of the official recognition. It turned into about 70 vehicles converging on the town with hundreds of supporters, sometimes driving up to three hours to attend.
“It exceeded our wildest expectations,” co-chair Douglas Judson who grew up in Emo told Huffington Post Canada. “It was really something to have people care that much about sending this message about the need for Pride in small communities.”