Toronto Pride

Toronto hosts a Pride Festival every June that is one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world.  This year however is expected to be mammoth.

Next week, Toronto will be opening its doors for World Pride and hosting the World Pride Human Rights Conference at the University of Toronto.  Hundreds of delegates from the around the world, including political leaders, activists, and journalists are expected to attend this conference.  Attendance at the Pride Parade next weekend is expected to exceed 3 million.

June 28th marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City which were triggered by police raids on a bar frequented by the gay community.  It is widely believed that this event was a major catalyst to the movement for gay and lesbian rights in North America.  Gay Pride marches began in the 1970s in memory of the Stonewall Riots and are now celebrated every year in many cities around the world during the last week of June.

Downtown Toronto has been decorated in rainbows to welcome visitors from all over the world.  The city, banks, businesses, and even public transit has been given a make-over for this event.

Pride 1 pride 5

This is only the 4th World Pride event since its inception in Rome in 2000.  Each World Pride celebration was marred by controversy as the host cities received overwhelming pressure from anti-gay groups, including the Vatican in 2000.

Toronto often gets bashed for the many things it gets wrong.  I only have to point to our alcoholic, crack-smoking, racist, and homophobic mayor as an example.  Frankly, we deserve criticism for that one, but this time I hope Toronto gets it right and demonstrates to the world its diversity and acceptance.

After all, we are one world, one people.

pride 8  pride 9

All photos were taken by my son, Jordan, with his iPhone in downtown Toronto.  He will be attending next week’s Pride celebrations as he has for the past many years.

pride 10

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Attitude, Random Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Toronto Pride

  1. stvrsnbrgr says:

    I’m a little late to this party, but your post about Toronto Pride (and your son’s pix) put a big smile on my face. I’ve been to so many Pride parades and events and festivals in so many places… it’s all a bit of a rainbow blur at this point. I’ll never forget the first Pride parade I went to, in San Francisco in 1990. It was transformative, and in those days, still somewhat subversive! And 5 years ago, we were in NYC for Pride. At one point we tired of being spectators and just jumped the barrier to join some group of marchers… and continued on down Fifth Avenue, waving at the crowds like royals. It was fabulous! Nowadays, there are Pride parades seemingly everywhere – all of them sponsored by Macy*s and American Airlines. Which is certainly a measure of success and progress, even if I find myself less drawn to the crowds and the spectacle each year. But I’m always especially proud of the straight allies I meet along the way. We couldn’t do it without you, you know! xo

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    • joannesisco says:

      There are straight allies everywhere and I’m so proud of my adopted city and the party that’s being thrown this year – especially after the major flop in London 2 years ago.
      The media coverage is extensive on some of the biggest events – like yesterday’s mass wedding party for 100 couples who exchanged vows at an outdoor venue with officials from every major religion on hand. Thirty years ago this wouldn’t have even been considered a possibility, let alone celebrated with such enthusiasm.
      I hate crowds and quite frankly, I’m rather uncomfortable in large groups of people, but tomorrow we will be braving the inevitable chaos downtown to absorb some of the energy and hopefully catch at least a bit of the parade 🙂

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  2. That looks stunning and so happy! 🙂 xx

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  3. Joanne, It’s very cool that Toronto hosts this event. Bravo! 🙂 ~Terri

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  4. Phoenix Tears Healed says:

    I love the rainbow across the road; it would be nice if all our zebra crossings could be rainbows, really cheerful 🙂

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  5. Hope that rain has stopped! Have a great weekend. 🙂

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  6. Sounds like a great event and what a good sentiment because of course we are one world and one people.

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  7. That sounds incredible. Well done, Toronto! I’ll admit to a measure of jealousy. We, too, have an embarrassment for mayor whose popularity is a mystery to this ratepayer. An ex-paparazzi with a presently bright blue mohawk (it changes colour) and a penchant for wearing his mayoral robes at any opportunity, his grand plans for our city have so far included laying turf down one of our main thoroughfares to turn it into a park and commissioning a giant Christmas tree to float in the bay.

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    • joannesisco says:

      What is it about politics that it attracts people with absolutely no business being in a leadership position? What is it about the electorate that falls for the empty charms of people like our mayors? *sigh*

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      • I’ll never understand it. What’s worse is that the previous mayor was the most decent, hard-working, generous, down-to-earth, apolitical man you could ever meet and he was basically hounded out of office a year into his term by all the politicising and backstabbing. And we got this joke instead. I will never, ever understand it.

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  8. I’m with M-R on this.
    Delighted, too, to see the corporate support. That’s very encouraging!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I agree with you on the corporate support. I remember going to my first Ironman race in Penticton and the whole town was transformed for the race. I remember I how felt about getting such a warm welcome to their town.
      I can imagine how it must feel for some people coming to Pride and receiving such an obviously open welcome – like the 60 delegates from Uganda who were finally granted visitor visas.

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  9. M-R says:

    One day festivals like these won’t exist, because they won’t need to exist. 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      The history of exclusion, discrimination, and violence against people who are different – whether race, colour, religion or sexual orientation – is a mighty sad one and still persisting.
      I can only hope M-R that you are correct. Sometimes it seems we make giant leaps forward on LGBT rights and then countries like Russian and Uganda go backwards.

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      • M-R says:

        It’s an appalling thing to say, I know … but most of Africa is a sewer. Warlords and criminals killing each other and maiming their young girls in the name of religion. I wouldn’t expect ANYTHING from Uganda.
        Personally, I would be pretty satisfied with tolerance and acceptance without thought spreading among thinking people; although I feel very sorry for Russians who are ‘different’ (a most disagreeable word in some circumstances).

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        • joannesisco says:

          The delegates arriving from Uganda are not politicians but activists working on behalf of homosexuals who are being prosecuted. Uganda last year passed extreme anti-gay legislation and being homosexual in Uganda right now is pretty scary … maybe even worse than in Russia which got a lot of air time during the Olympics.

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          • M-R says:

            Yes, we got that here, too … I do feel sorry for Ugandans, but I’m not surprised, Perhaps what I AM surprised by is the lack of delegates from other African countries !

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  10. kanzensakura says:

    How wonderful. I do like this spirit of pride a lot.

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  11. This is one of the best events Toronto holds and now we’re going global! We have also just elected the first woman Premiere of the Province who also just happens to be lesbian – must be doing something right. Great photos!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I like to think we are setting a good example … at least on the days when we are doing something right.
      If Toronto re-elects Ford for mayor, I will have to rescind that opinion.

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      • “If Toronto re-elects Ford” – does it not dismay you to consider that his re-election is a possible outcome? Drives me nuts the popularity the guy has STILL!

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        • joannesisco says:

          *gnashing of teeth*

          Toronto politics is SOOOO dysfunctional. People like Ford actually frighten me. His support is based on a personna of “a regular guy” but there is nothing ‘regular’ about him. His behaviour demonstrates an elitist attitude – the very thing he has built a platform against. He is a bully. There is no question in my mind that we should be very concerned about what this man is capable of.

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  12. sueslaght says:

    Bravo for diversity and Toronto for hosting this massive event!

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  13. Lynn says:

    Happy Pride Toronto! A great festival & so much fun!

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  14. NancyTex says:

    The diversity of our city is probably the thing I’m proudest of. Long live Pride.

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  15. Helen C says:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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