One of the largest Pride celebrations in the world takes place in Toronto each year and this year was no exception. It’s estimated that more than a million people participated in Toronto Pride 2019, a month-long festival that offered a wide variety of events for all members of the LGBTQ2+ community and culminated with three major parades including the highly anticipated Pride Parade on June 23.

This year’s event was special for the event’s organizers and participants as it fell on the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City in 1969. Toronto Pride 2019 celebrated the life of Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman and activist who was instrumental in planning the riots. Actress and Canadian YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous served as Grand Marshall and appeared at several events during June.

 

Among local business participants in Toronto Pride 2019 was John Lusink and his team at Right at Home Realty, Inc.

“We enthusiastically support Toronto Pride,” John Lusink noted. “We have a large, wonderful LGBTQ+ community here in Toronto. These people are our friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers. All of us should enjoy the same rights.”

Pride Month 2019 took place across 22 city blocks with several stages set up for the event. As always, there were a wide and diverse variety of musical performers, DJs, drag queens and kings, and many others who showcased their talents, interacted with and entertained audiences, danced with them, and celebrated gay pride. The event’s largest stage, located on Wellesley Street, hosted headliners who included Beyoncé collaborator Big Freedia and Grammy Award winning R&B singer Mýa.

“I hope that in some small way, we’re doing our part to help rid the world of gender discrimination while promoting equality for all,” added Lusink.

As the event came to a close, sexual and gender diversity was celebrated in all its forms through three separate parades.

On June 21, the first day of summer was kicked off with the Trans Pride March. This parade, which Toronto Pride organizers say is the largest event spearheaded by Canada’s trans community, welcomed participation from trans and non-binary individuals, their friends and others who support trans equality. The march was led by trans women of color and people with diverse abilities.

Mira Yilmaz, who recently relocated to Canada from Turkey, where she said that the government has been trying to stop similar parades, was participating in her first Trans March. She told the CBC that the march was “Beautiful,” adding that, “I hope it stays this way.”

On June 22, the Dyke March, a grassroots event with a political focus, celebrated the power, strength and diversity of lesbians and trans people. Following the parade, organizers offered opportunities for participants and attendees to enjoy performances and take part in crafting and community-building.

The world-famous Toronto Pride Parade was held on June 23rd and featured numerous marching groups.

Kaitlin Coutu-Johnson, who was on hand at the parade for the third time, told the Globe and Mail that, “Every part of our community is here to show pride,” adding that, “Everyone is just so happy and celebrating. I feel like every year it gets bigger and the city grows more accepting.”

By all accounts this year was a smashing success.

Published by Mohsin Ahsan