Joyous, celebratory, poignant, political, personal, playful and downright bizarre; Toronto Pride is certainly an experience! An event attended by huge numbers of people of all ages (including families) from across the city and beyond, it is truly an embracing of diversity.
I think I must have led a very sheltered life . . .! The atmosphere was amazing, the parade full of spectacle and fun, yet with some serious underlying messages at all sorts of levels.
And beyond the parade nearly a dozen stages with live music, DJs, poetry and more, dotted around the city centre streets, thronged with a laughing, good-natured crowd in which anything (and I mean ANYTHING) goes. I don’t think I can remember any other public family occasion downtown in a city when an albeit small number of men were wandering around naked, totally accepted with little more than a glance.
Among the most poignant moments for me were a mother’s placard ‘I love my trans son’, the older woman on her disability scooter taking part in the parade, the Michael Jackson impersonator singing to a crowd especially appreciative in the shadow of the superstar’s death last week.
The scale (much of the city centre closed off), as well as the affirmation of every shading of human gender and sexuality, have left us on input overload!