LGBTQ pride


Part 2: Top 5 Pride events not to miss

June is Toronto Pride month, and it seems to be off to a great start! Haven’t been to any of the events yet? Don’t worry, because there are still a lot of great events to attend over the next two weeks! In light of recent events surrounding the Orlando Shooting, it is more important than ever to get out and show our pride.

Here are a few upcoming events that you shouldn’t miss:

Libido: Presented by Dyke March & Manifesto

Libido is a music event being held at the Gladstone Hotel ( 1214 Queen St. W.) on June 16 starting at 9 p.m. The DJ line-up, which includes LGBTQ artists, will be released soon and all proceeds will go towards dyke, queer, and youth initiatives hosted by Manifesto and the Dyke March. Manifesto is a youth organization that helps emerging hip hop artists in Toronto. Tickets will be pay-what-you-can between $10-$20 upon arrival.

Club Babylon

The popular drama TV show, Queer as Folk, has a famous and popular fictional nightclub that will come to life on June 17 at 10:30 p.m to celebrate the iconic TV show. The legendary event will occur at Fly 2.0 (6 Gloucester St.), a gay club in Toronto, and the venue for the fictional club on the show. There will be go-go boys wearing the original Queer as Folk costumes, and Randy Harrison, who played Justin on the show, will be hosting the celebration.

TIFF Family Pride Screening

If you are looking for an event to attend with the kids, a family Pride movie is a great way to eat popcorn and teach an important message at the same time. The TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W.) is putting on a compilation of live-action short films that advocate for LGBTQ inclusive themes on June 19 at 1 p.m. The films are recommended for ages seven and up. Films include Looks, Wini & George, Exclamation Mark, and the Boy with Chocolate Finger among many others.

Two-spirit Rainbow Pow Wow

The Two-Spirit Indigenous community is proud to feature art, culture and music around the two-spirit identity at the TD Village Stage (77 Wellesley St. E.) on July 1 at 7 p.m. Two-spirit dancers will be showcased, alongside DJ Sub who will be spinning First Nations’ electronic dance beats. Juno award winning group, Digging Roots, and famous two-spirit artist, Shawnee will also perform. The pow wow will include drums and traditional first nations dancing.

Pride Parade

Toronto’s Pride Parade is the main event of Pride month and it is a busy and fantastic experience. The pride parade is coming into its 35th year. The parade begins at 2p.m on July 3 at the corner of Church and Bloor St. and will march southwards. The parade features over 100 different organizations that support LGBTQ rights and celebrates this community in a healthy and fun way. Definitely worth attending!

The second half of Pride month is full of stellar event choices that vary from family flicks to club nights with go-go boys. There is something for everyone to enjoy, and it all concludes with the ever-amazing Pride Parade.

What event are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

Orlando shooting a devastating LGBTQ tragedy

The celebratory spirit of pride month has been severely affected by the Orlando Shooting, devastating the LGBTQ community and inciting fear for the upcoming pride parade on July 3.

Forty-nine people were shot and killed in Orlando at 2 a.m early Sunday morning at the Pulse, with 43 others still in the hospital with injuries. Pulse, a gay club in the city, was celebrating a Latin themed night when the shooter opened fire on partygoers. This tragedy is the worst mass shooting against the LGBTQ community in history.

The shooter, Omar Mateen, emphasized his allegiance to the Daesh extremist group and ISIS in a 911 call that took place in the club’s bathroom, where he held 30 hostages until the police shot him at approximately 5 a.m.  Mateen had previously been investigated by the FBI for a relation to a suicide bomber in Syria, but there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges.

On Sunday, another man, armed with three assault rifles and explosive chemicals, was arrested in Southern California. He was reportedly headed to the West Hollywood gay pride parade. Today, University of Toronto has also been placed on lock-down due to a young man carrying a gun being reported in the area. It is unclear if this is related to recent events in Orlando.

Targeted attacks on the LGBTQ community are so devastating — there is simply no amount of words to describe the level of sadness and anger that people are experiencing right now. There are no words for the level of pain this has caused a community that has already experienced marginalization for centuries. There are no words for the families and friends of these beloved and innocent individuals.

It is clear that the shooting is a blatant example of the need for more extreme gun laws in the United States. People are not safe and marginalized communities are being needlessly attacked. An attack on Muslim culture (as Donald Trump proceeded to do as quickly as possible) is not appropriate either. Inciting further hatred against a religious group that desires no affiliation with ISIS and its extremist tactics does not respectfully honour the victims of this tragedy.

Toronto Pride month executive director Mathieu Chantelois announced Monday morning that the Pride Parade will be dedicated to the victims of the Orlando shooting. Extra security measures are also set to be implemented at the parade, as well as other pride events throughout the month. The fear that will accompany the remaining events of Pride and at the parade itself is disheartening. People are afraid, and this could affect participation in the important annual celebration of LGBTQ pride.

Though people are fearful, the Orlando shooting gives Toronto the opportunity to ban together as a strong and supportive community for the LGBTQ. It is essential to show homophobic extremists that we will not be broken by misguided hatred. Support the LGBTQ, attend Pride, and let’s show our love for the brothers and sisters that have fallen in Orlando.