Canada Likes A Gay Man – And Woman – In Uniform

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Canada’s queer soldiers certainly had something to celebrate this weekend. Though pride has been happening for over thirty years, this weekend’s festivities marked the first time Canada’s Armed Services were allowed to march in uniform. And, not surprisingly, the same-sex loving soldiers were thrilled to itty-bits:

“It’s a huge thing for me personally,” said Warrant Officer John McDougall, a parade participant who has been an openly gay member of the military for 13 years. “To be able to be in public and be recognized not just for being a soldier, but for being a soldier who happens to be gay is amazing.”

Toronto Pride Executive director Fatima Amarshi said that the Armed Forces initiated their participation in the parade.

“We’re all familiar with stories of lesbians and gays in the military and the struggle that they’ve had,” she said. “So for the military to turn around and recognize its soldiers, the diversity within its ranks and the need to have a presence at Pride means a tremendous amount.”

The American military could learn a thing or two from its neighbors to the north.