Canada's Justin Trudeau took part in Toronto's Gay Pride parade, with the prime minister's official photographer Adam Scotti there to mark only the second time that a Canadian leader has marched in the country's largest LGBT event.
One photograph by Scotti — shared widely on social media — shows Trudeau couching down to high-five a young girl dressed as Wonder Woman and holding a rainbow flag. As many quickly noted, Trudeau had got into the sartorial spirit, too — by wearing a pair of multicolored socks.
Trudeau's unusual choices in foot attire have already been celebrated. (He wore socks adorned with “Star Wars” characters while meeting his Irish counterpart on May 4). But his Pride socks carried a subtler political message. Text on the socks read “Eid Mubarak,” honoring the religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, which coincides with Gay Pride this year.
The socks are made by the Toronto-based Halal Socks. Trudeau had previously pointed to them at an event to mark the end of Ramadan. The message was also apt for Toronto Pride, where this year's theme was inclusivity, with indigenous activists and other minorities playing a prominent part in the parade. According to the Toronto Star newspaper, Trudeau wished the crowd a happy “Pride Mubarak,” recognizing the dueling events taking place that weekend.
Trudeau, a member of the Liberal Party, has pushed themes of tolerance and multiculturalism since becoming prime minister in November 2015, publicly embracing issues such as Syrian refugees while other world leaders shied away from him.
While Trudeau was largely praised for his socks on social media, some on the right criticized him and noted that in many Muslim-majority countries LGBT people can face persecution. Even some liberal-leaning supporters voiced criticism, arguing that it was another social media savvy-stunt from a leader whose policies haven't lived up to the hype.
The Canadian prime minister is now half way through his term and has recently suffered a dip in his approval ratings, though Trudeau's numbers remain relatively high compared to his similar polls other leaders, including President Trump.
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