Toronto Pride

Our first summer here in Toronto we decided to go to the Toronto Pride Parade. We had no idea what to expect, least of all the sheer number of people that show up. Estimates typically go to over a million people lining the streets along the route. The crowds are huge and the noise is cacophonous.

When I first got here my boss thought I was strange for bringing my son to the parade as his idea of it was that of many: Debauchery, partial (and a little full) nudity, and suggestive themes. To some extent this is true. That said, most of the suggestive costumes are no less revealing than those at other summer parades or at the beach.  I explained why I bring him this way:  Yes, there are a few things we might have to explain to our son. But there are some other messages we were really glad he got to see. Messages that got cheers and support from the million-plus crowd.  Here are a few of them:

ttc
City services like transit support pride.
ems
EMS too – and so many others. Canadian Forces, most political parties (not always a huge showing from the Conservatives, mind you)

 

(Yes, I know, there’s a bit of controversy about the police and pride these days. A bit beyond the scope of this post at the moment.)

tdsb
Our school board is supportive.
triangle
We even have a long-standing alternative school program for LGBTQ youth.
childrens aid
Children’s Aid shows up to let folks know they support same sex adoption.
elementary
We see elementary school teachers
church
A number of churches show up. Yes, once in a while a few evangelists sneak in too…
ndp
OK, this is a gratuitous photo that will likely upset US conservatives. Wait, sexy, gay, and socialist? What’s the world coming to?!?!?
cibc
Businesses go all out here. Some are accused of “rainbow-washing” which may be true in some cases. However, it makes me happy that we are in a place, culturally, where a business feels it important to support Pride.

Even our Prime Minister shows up with his family:

Because that year it landed on the same day as Eid, he wished not only Eid Mubarak and Happy Pride, he wished everyone “Pride Mubarak”

In 2011, as a rider in my second year of the Friends for Life Bike Rally, a 600 km charity bike ride from Toronto to Montreal to benefit the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, I was invited to ride in the parade with other riders and support team. It was one thing to see and hear the parade from one spot. As you can see from the photos and video I’ve shared above, there are a huge number of people. But it is nothing compared to the overwhelming sight of that many people lining the sidewalks, stairs, leaning out of buildings, and cheering from rooftops for the length of the parade. The sight is overwhelming and the sound is deafening. But the message to me is clear: You are living in and raised your child in a place you want to be.

via Daily Prompt: Cacophony

7 thoughts on “Toronto Pride

    1. So I’ve heard! I haven’t been out there for that. In fact, I’ve only been to the west coast a couple of times. I quite like it there though Toronto will always be home for me, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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