School board trustees want the city to arrest naked people at the Pride parade, for the children

School board trustees want the city to arrest naked people at the Pride parade, for the children

Pride: it’s not all naked people. (Image: Ryan)

What happens if a high school student sees a naked dude during the Pride parade? Toronto District School Board trustees Sam Sotiropoulos, Irene Atkinson and John Hastings seem to think the outcome will be something like this—but in any case, they’re not waiting to find out.

The three trustees are tabling a motion at tonight’s school board meeting that calls for TDSB to send a letter to city council “asking them to clarify whether or not the public nudity law of Canada will be upheld and enforced at future Pride events in which the TDSB participates.” The theory here seems to be that students can’t be allowed to march in any parade where they might catch a glimpse of an errant ballsack. (It’s true that there are always some naked or half-naked people at Pride, but the majority of participants are usually fully—if provocatively—clothed.) “It’s simple,” trustee Atkinson told the Star, “I don’t believe males or females should be running around naked in the streets, and if they are, police ought to be called.”

These cries for public decency come a month after Doug Ford attempted to defend his brother the mayor against charges of homophobia by unleashing a public rant about “buck naked men” at Pride. Trustee Sotiropoulos, one of the sponsors of the TDSB motion, faced homophobia allegations of his own a few weeks ago when he used his Twitter account to badger councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam about the parade’s clothing-optional ways.

Making matters even more fraught this year is the fact that Toronto is hosting World Pride 2014. The international LGBT celebration could make this year’s parade bigger and better publicized than ever before. If a few naked guys end up in handcuffs on Yonge Street, there’s a good chance it will find its way onto CNN.