This is a man who once said "if you're not gay, you won't get AIDS, probably"; he's also suggested that gays could "dismantle civilization". Standard garden-variety homophobe, in other words. Why would the gay community want somebody like him marching in their parade?
He's not. Instead he'll be engaging in a family cottaging tradition far, far away from anywhere the gay cooties could possibly get him. You know what? That's fine. Better he stay away than be coerced to attend, is my view.
There are a great many people of Ford's generation who are acutely uncomfortable with in-your-face displays of homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter). Most of them have made an uneasy truce with gay marriage and gay people in general, so long as they keep themselves below the radar. This attitude is called "tolerance".
There has been a remarkable campaign to shift the meaning of "tolerance", to imbue it with a degree of enthusiasm it was never meant to hold. I don't have to love you to tolerate you. I don't even have to particularly like you. I might prefer it if you'd stay away from me, in fact. Maybe you could take your reprehensible mayoral views and go jump in a lake somewhere up in the back of the beyond. Should you wish to stick around, though, I won't keep you away. Your presence can be tolerated.
Truth be told, I know several gay people who keep well away from Pride events, not because they're ashamed to be gay, but because they feel no need to sensationalize it. They never saw public nudity as a condition of gayness. Quite frankly, I don't either. You can show pride in who you are all you want: most of us straight folk don't feel the need to do so with garish non-costumes and low-hanging fruit.
Let me be clear: I personally have no problem with Gay Pride as it stands, even with the flaunty jaunty full monties on display. Nudity doesn't bother me in the slightest: it's just skin and as I've said before, if God had meant for us to walk around naked, we would have been born that way. So let it all hang out if you want, but don't for one second tie your exhibitionism to your homosexuality and insist that everyone gaze on you adoringly. And while you're not insisting, try not to insist that everybody be totally smitten with You And Your Cause. Sometimes the best you can hope for is that they leave town and let you have the run of it.