#LoveWins Concert: Organizers and Toronto’s LGBT Community Feud over Its Timing and Purpose

Many members of Toronto’s LGBTQ community are up in arms over the #LoveWins concert, to be held on March 29, 2018. Organizers are promoting it as “part vigil, part celebration,” with reference to the victims of alleged serial killer, Bruce McArthur. The LGBTQ community are questioning the timing and purpose of this concert.

There’s still fear in the air following the aftermath of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur’s arrest in connection with a series of killings that have plagued Toronto’s gay community. However, a group of people believe that it’s time to start healing, and are making efforts to move on in a positive frame of mind.

A Star-Studded Lineup

In order to achieve this, they organized a star-studded concert, #LoveWins, which is supposed to take place on March 29, 2018, at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada. The lineup features talent like Carole Pope, members of the Bare Naked Ladies, winners from CTV’s The Launch, the Forte Toronto Gay Men’s Chorus, R&B singer Thelma Houston, former Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams, and former Nylons singer Billy Newton Davis.

Organizers Reference Spate of Killings

Organizers billed it as “part vigil, part celebration” with reference to the arrest of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. The event’s poster doesn’t mention McArthur’s name, but instead references “the series of killings that have rocked Toronto’s LGBTQ community.”

Police Investigation Still Ongoing

Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder. Police are searching for more of his alleged victims. Confirmed victims were connected to Toronto’s gay village.

Organizers Positive about Concert

Salah Bachir, a co-organizer of #LoveWins said that “a lot of people in the community” were looking for an event to happen that emphasized the community’s “strength and compassion.” He added that he didn’t expect a negative reaction from some groups.

LGBTQ Community Questions Relevance

However, there have been negative reactions to this event from many people, including the terrified members of Toronto’s LGBTQ community. They’re raising concerns and saying that the event is completely out of touch with what’s happening in the city. They also questioned, via the event’s Facebook page, why their members were not consulted or asked to perform.

Questions Remain Unanswered 

The dissenters are saying that the event is premature as police are still searching for information regarding McArthur’s killing spree, which has reportedly been going on for several years. They also said that the organizers’ description of the event as “the work of healing now begins” ignores many questions about the ghastly murders, which remain unanswered.

Organizers Emphasize Need to Uplift the Community

Bachir, however, said, “There was so much that was going on, people were in shock and grieving, and we needed something that was uplifting as a community kind of thing, in light of all the murders. There have been a couple of different vigils, and people have left them more depressed than ever.”

Bachir, who heads movie theater Cineplex’s media division, said that he knew several of the murdered men, adding, “There’s a lot of young people that are angry — angry at the police, angry at the city, angry at the mishandling of stuff — and I think venting their anger. Yeah, I enjoyed reading [the deleted Facebook posts].”

Facebook Page against the Concert

Some who are against the concert are expressing their opinions on the “Stop #LoveWins Concert” Facebook page, created by Sara Malabar. She said, “Instead of trying to throw some sort of ‘Let’s feel better’ concert, maybe we need to be coming together in our grief in respective ways and working through the trauma.”

Killings Must Not Happen Again

#LoveWins is scheduled for March 29, 2018, but at this time, nobody is sure how it will affect the grisly case that police are still investigating. The only thing the community agrees on is that the brutal killings of LGBTQ community members must never happen again.


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