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If it's the small gestures that count, then this afternoon's out-of-the-rainbow-blue appearance of Mayor Rob Ford at the PFLAG's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event on the roof of City Hall should go some way toward repairing the mayor's relationship with the gay community.
The 150 or so gathered on City Hall's rooftop garden for the occasion, including most of the members of council, were eager to embrace the mayor for his good deed, breaking out into applause when he showed, a few of them among the crowd reaching to shake his hand on the way by.
For the mayor's reversal - he had said he would not be attending any Pride-related events, including the flag-raising - we have Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam to thank. The rookie councillor, whom with each passing day is showing an impressive grasp of realpolitik, paid a visit to the mayor's office this morning to extend one last invitation
She then thanked Ford, "my mayor, our mayor," for coming, before offering a few thoughtful words on the challenges and discrimination gays and lesbians continue to face around the world - not to mention right here in our backyard in the Big Smoke.
It was a moving tribute. With the city skyline in the backdrop and the wind blowing the rainbow flag under a beaming sun, it would not be a reach to say you could almost feel whatever political animosities an often recalcitrant mayor has contributed to, lifting away into the sky. Perhaps I'm being melodramatic about it.
But under Ford, it hasn't been very pretty at times, the rhetoric on the Pride issue and many others from his office and political allies taking Toronto the Good into dark spaces. All of which makes his decision to attend Thursday's flag-raising, symbolic though it may be, important balm for a divided city.
It doesn't change everything, of course. The mayor ducked out, making his way through the crowd while the ceremony was nearing completion, his staff forming a phalanx around him to lead him to a stairwell to the councillors' offices, his step quickening with every one of the press mob following him. He wasn't in a hurry to answer any questions about his aboutface.
But whatever his reasons for showing up, and certainly some of them were political, the mayor deserves credit for allowing himself to get out of his own comfort zone. Now let's see what he does for an encore performance. Maybe an appearance at Pride itself? Now that would be something to see.