Canada’s Prime Minister marched in Toronto’s gay pride parade this weekend — and a Syrian refugee was at his side the whole time.
From The Guardian:
While Justin Trudeau was waving to the crowds and pausing for selfies as Canada’s first prime minister to march in a gay pride parade on Sunday, Bassel Mcleash was walking quietly alongside him trying to summon the courage to speak to the leader of his new country.
The 29-year-old Syrian refugee had hoped to catch a glimpse of Trudeau during the parade, and had even planned what he might say to him. “I wanted to tell him thank you, that I’m Syrian, I arrived here a month ago,” he said.
Mcleash was stunned to find himself walking the entire parade route next to Trudeau. “Just the idea of attending a pride parade was a dream. To march in it was like an extreme dream,” he said. “But to march in the parade next to the prime minister – not in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought about having a day like this.”
Building on legislation introduced this year to protect transgender Canadians from discrimination and violence, Trudeau said the Canadian government was exploring the use of gender-neutral options on identity cards.
Read the rest of the story here.