Toronto mayor Rob Ford had a big window of opportunity. Toronto Pride Week is a pretty huge ten-day series of events. So, Ford’s excuse for missing the Pride Parade of a family tradition of going to a cabin for the July 1 weekend doesn’t hold up. He could turn his cabin retreat into a five-day weekend, and he’s still got some time for a Pride event or two.

Which, as the mayor, wouldn’t be a terrible idea. But nope. Not a single one.

And when he’s been confronted about it, so much waffling in response. His responses sound even more awkward when the Toronto Star asked him if he’s homophobic, saying he “looked away, mumbled something under his breath and didn’t answer the question.”

I don’t know that anyone around the Dog Blog has been too impressed with Ford at any point, so taking this as a diss on the gay community isn’t a great stretch around these parts.

In that same Star article, though, they quote former-mayor Mel Lastman. Lastman had a cool story to tell:

But the conservative businessman acknowledged the Pride world — at least the one he had seen on TV and in newspapers — seemed foreign and a little scary.

When Pride invited him in ’98, Lastman agonized until his son Dale sat him down and said: “You have to go, you’re the mayor of all the people, you made a promise.’ He was right and I figured I should go.”

His trepidation arriving at Church St., and waiting beside a float full of gyrating and waving “Southern Ontario Bears,” quickly evaporated.

Lastman goes on to say that people should give Ford some time to get comfortable with the idea of going, and that maybe he’ll go next year. Check the picture the Star posted of Lastman – that’s a dude having a great time at Pride Week, and is obviously comfortable.

So, next year. We’ll see.