Glenn Crawford is chair of the Village Committee, which promotes Ottawa’s gay village. He will lead Sunday’s Capital Pride Parade as grand marshal.

When did you find out you were getting the grand marshal job and what was your reaction?
I found out several months ago. Honestly, I’m a person who is probably known for talking and I was a bit at a loss for words. I was a bit taken aback by it and certainly honoured.

What do you see as your duties as grand marshal?
Well, the duties are kind of what you make of it. I wasn’t given, like, guidelines of things that I had to do. In terms of actually just being in the pace car, the Pride Parade is just about celebrating who you are, maybe an exaggerated sense of who you are, because sometimes we go a little overboard, which is fun. It’s a way to kick back and sort of just celebrate being different, and I will definitely look a little different in the parade this year. I’m really excited about it. There’s a bit of theatre and excitement that comes with the parade and I have some plans for that.

Are they secret?

Yeah, it’s fun to surprise people, and we do have an initiative that our committee has been working on for many years that we are breaking some really exciting new ground on and we will be unveiling that. So that is a bit of a secret. Definitely all will be revealed on Sunday, and I think it’s something that the community will be really, really excited about. I’m dying to tell people about it but I’m being good!

Have you noticed a warming trend in gay-friendliness here?

I think that the people have always been friendly here. There will always be opposition or homophobia. Certainly, over the years I’ve walked down Bank Street and people have driven by and screamed not very nice things at me out of their car, in frankly a very cowardly way. So those kinds of things still exist, and I think because we have same-sex marriage now and hate crime protection there’s almost a complacency or a feeling that we have all our rights, we’re safe, we’re fine. But the reality is there are still things happening and there will be new challenges. The rights are there but society takes a while to catch up.