Justin Trudeau Marches with Syrian Refugee at Toronto Gay Pride Parade

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.

( Source )