Let’s take a minute to think of bullying. Imagine it’s Grade 6 and a group of boys are picking on you at recess. You didn’t do anything wrong, you’re just ‘different’. Imagine you tell this to your friend, they give you a hug, tell you it’s okay and that they will always support you. Now imagine the next day you see her hanging out with the bullies. How would this make you feel?
For members of Fort Frances’ LGBTQ+ community, there is no need to imagine. According to documents from Borderland Pride, Mayor Caul sent an email to bully Harold McQuaker of Emo after that town shamefully refused to proclaim Pride (and would later vote down a motion condemning harmful ‘conversion therapy’). The email addressed the ‘Emo Ambush’ Pride protest, where people peacefully demonstrated for their human rights and to remind LGBTQ+ folks in Emo that they’re valid, loved, and seen. The contents of the letter?
“Hi Harold. I feel it necessary to let you know that the actions of Pride, its comments and legal threats are not endorsed by myself, Council members, or administration. I value our relationship with Emo and every municipality in the district and hope that your Council knows that these actions in no way reflect our opinions.”
And just like that, after your friend tells you that you’re valued and supported, she’s not only hanging out with the bullies, but belittling your attempt to stand up to them. If Mayor Caul really is a real friend to Pride and the town’s LGBTQ+ community, she’d apologize for her hurtful email and commit herself to standing up for inclusion, diversity, acceptance, and equality within and outside of Fort Frances.
Prince Rupert, BC