Our Prime Minister makes headlines pretty much every time he steps out the door. This weekend, the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau headed over to Montreal’s pride parade (we all know how much he loves his pride parades). This time, he brought with him a foreign dignitary–the first to march in Montreal Pride–Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar.
Ireland was the first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote in 2015. That same year, they also created an act that allows anyone over the age of 18 to redefine the gender on their birth certificate without the need of medical reports, making life a whole lot easier for their transgender community. The Irish PM marched with his partner, Dr. Matt Barrett. Varadkar is just the fourth openly gay world leader and he was invited by Trudeau to the parade after their meeting in Ireland went so well (yes, almost as well as when Trudeau and Obama get together).
— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) August 20, 2017
‘I think Canada and Ireland have a lot in common,’ Varakdar said to the crowd, ‘One of the things we have in common most of all is that we are countries that understand that diversity is a strength and that our differences make us stronger.’
‘And I think over the world, pride is evolving into something that’s even broader than LGBT community,’ he continued, ‘It’s about a celebration of diversity and diversity as a strength across the community and across society.’
— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) August 21, 2017
Bonne Fierté Montréal! 🏳️🌈Happy Pride Montreal! pic.twitter.com/241Xw1U7X8
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 20, 2017
Trudeau praised Canada for our progressiveness, but made the point that there is still work to be done even in countries as tolerant as this one.
He said that Canadians need to, ‘challenge ourselves in our thinking, to question where we might not be as open as we think we are, to listen … and to reflect on how we can dance and celebrate today, but how we can change our actions tomorrow.’
It a world that still sees white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK publicly denouncing anyone who doesn’t fit their strict criteria, Trudeau’s words on tolerance are as potent as ever. Events like this are an encouragement in such dark political times.
Sandy Duperval, one of the ambassadors for Montreal pride week, said it best, ‘I feel like this week, we broke the cycle of hate.’