Gay cop worries first Pride could be his last after Black Lives Matter calls for ban
Const. Chuck Krangle objected in an open letter to a float ban at Pride, as other police express desire to return to the parade.
It was a day of extreme emotions for Const. Chuck Krangle, a Toronto police officer and a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Despite working in the city for eight years, Krangle, who is openly gay, had never been to Toronto’s Pride parade. But this year brought his chance to attend when he was assigned to work Sunday’s parade.
Krangle was blown away — by the spectacle, by the fun, and by the number of fellow officers taking part.
“I was like ‘woah, what a coming together,’ ” Krangle, 30, said in an interview. “I had no idea that there were that many cops that march in this, from all different agencies,” he said, adding that one of the highlights was speaking with Toronto police chief and parade-goer Mark Saunders.
But by the time Krangle, who is a community response officer, finished his shift, there had been a change in tone: following a mid-parade protest by members of Black Lives Matter Toronto, Pride organizers seemed to agree to make a number of changes to improve the event — including banning police floats and booths. (Pride executive director Mathieu Chantelois said Monday that his signing of the demands was not binding on Pride.)
Having just participated in his first Pride, Krangle worried it might be his last. The move prompted the officer to pen an open letter to Pride Toronto, expressing his concerns about keeping officers like him from visibly participating.
“I do not speak for the police, and I do not speak for the LGBTQ community. I speak as an individual, one who saw his first PRIDE, only to be excluded from the next,” Krangle wrote in his letter. “Exclusion does not promote inclusion.”