Myst Milano © Courtesy of Pride Toronto
This June, Pride returns to Toronto to celebrate the diversity of the Greater Toronto Area’s 2LGBT2Q+ communities.
Pride has been a long time in the making, from a small gathering of dedicated activists fighting for their right to love and be seen to the vibrant celebration we know and love today.
Since 1970, the pride movement has been supporting 2SLGBTQ+ communities in the pursuit of the unequivocal right to be heard, understood, accepted, and respected.
From the first picnic organized by Toronto’s first queer activist organizations that became “Gay Day Picnic” to the first Toronto Pride Week march in 1974 and the addition of the Trans March in 2009, Pride Toronto celebrates the communities that have continued to gather and celebrate the beauty and confidence that comes from being your most authentic self.
After two years of online programming, Toronto’s Pride month festivities are back and better than ever, returning with in-person events across the city. The long-awaited return will include signature favourites including the annual Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming, Blockorama by Blackness Yes, Pride Parade, StreetFair, and multiple stages featuring over 300 2SLGBTQ+ artists.
The programming will begin on June 1 with the annual City of Toronto Flag Raising, kicking off a month of festivities. From parties to conferences, art shows to live performances, and much more, this year’s Pride is bringing together the virtual events that kept us connected over the past two years with the beloved in-person events that have been sorely missed.
In collaboration with ArtworxTO, Toronto will be filled with visually striking and expressive art installations throughout June, from Tyler Burey’s Duality Illuminated at stackt market, Alex Flores’ Sustainable Love at College Park, and Moe Praminick’s The Cosmic Explorer in the West Toronto Railpath.
Pride month concludes with the annual Festival Weekend on June 24-25-26, 2022—a celebration you won’t want to miss.
Festival Weekend celebrates the return of annual favourites, like Drag Ball, AlternaQueer, and Club Quarantine on June 25, all gearing up for Parade Day on June 26, where the star-studded main stage will be full of incredible and vibrant performances from this year’s headliners, including Jamaican-born recording artist, singer, songwriter and “Queen of Dancehall” Spice, Canada’s Drag Race season one winner and hometown Queen Priyanka, and the Legendary’s House of Miyake-Mugler.
“It is going to bring the city to life,” says Pride Toronto Executive Director Sherwin Modeste. “Throughout Pride Month, we will be continuing our new initiatives to include different art forms and will give everyone a reason, time, space and something to celebrate. We cannot wait to welcome back our community to honour the history of protest and celebrate the future.”
Love and Learning
Pride Toronto was founded on the fundamental truth that love prevails and we are all deserving of it. It continues a legacy that is deeply intertwined with the rich, progressive history of Toronto’s queer community.
“While we celebrate how far we have come as a community, Pride Month is also a critical time to lift up and advocate for many vulnerable groups within the 2SLGBTQ+ community who continue to be marginalized and left behind,” share Board Co-Chairs Grant Gonzales and Yuri Hernandez.
The 2SLGBTQ+ communities, especially Indigenous and racialized people, continue to be among the most vulnerable in Canada, which was especially prevalent during the COVID-19 crisis. While Pride Toronto is a celebration of love and diversity, there is always room to include important conversations about how we can help change our world for the better and improve acceptance and accessibility across our communities.
On June 12, the Pride 2022 annual Youth Conference, co-hosted by LGBT YouthLine and with support from Let’sStopAIDS, will host two workshops around “Building Community Spaces During Covid-19.” This registration-only event will dive into how communities form, the power of using connections to build and bind communities, and how we can all become successful leaders and advocates for change. Throughout the month, Pride Toronto will be hosting discussions, celebrations, and opportunities for learning across 2SLGBTQ+ communities, including events for 2SLGBTQ+ seniors, a Sober Pride Oasis, and the Trans Rally & Trans March on June 24.
As well, on June 21, The Black Queer and Trans Excellence podcast will host a live recording to honour the Black experience through the lens of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ Black community, with honest conversations and celebrations of Black joy.
A Global Celebration
This year, Pride Toronto is excited to announce a collaboration with Global Black Pride (GBP) and Blackness Yes! to produce the first in-person and hybrid event in Toronto.
This will be the first global Pride event that brings together Black LGBTQI+ communities across all continents, and it’s happening here in Toronto. This international event will celebrate Black culture and diversity, providing a space for activists and community-based organizations across the globe to engage and reflect.
In keeping with this year’s global celebration, Pride Toronto has announced its Charity of Choice, The Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP), Canada’s largest organization dedicated to mitigating the impacts of HIV/AIDS on the Caribbean, African, and Black communities.
With an approach rooted in anti-oppression and equity and under the motto “All Black People’s Lives are Important,” Black CAP offers a range of services and programs catered to the identities, experiences and needs of Toronto’s richly diverse Black population. From awareness campaigns and harm reduction programs to newcomer settlement services and peer support groups, Black CAP’s programming is a holistic and expansive response to the Black community’s needs.
The Pride parade has come a long way. Through it all, Pride has maintained a committed effort to honour its history while allowing space for the future. To align with new sustainability efforts, Pride Toronto will be eliminating the use of flatbed floats and gas-powered vehicles in 2022 and will be moving to smaller green-powered vehicles.
Come for the parade and stay for the whimsical and exciting performances, thought-provoking conversations, and immersive art installations. It’s been a long two years; you won’t want to miss this.
Supporting Pride Toronto means amplifying these voices and prioritizing local, community-focused advocacy.
To make a donation in support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and find the full Pride Month lineup visit PrideToronto.com
Pride Toronto is a not-for-profit organization that supports the 2SLGBTQ+ communities of our city and beyond