Monday, June 30, 2008

Toronto Gay Pride 2008: The Video

I almost didn't make the beginning of the big Pride Parade.

I didn't get up until half an hour before it was supposed to start. No time to grab a coffee or something to eat. Just enough time to shower, grab my video camera, and run.

And when I got there and looked for a place to shoot the parade, my heart sank into my sneakers. I've never seen so many people in my life.

It was scary.....but BRILLIANT.

When so many straight people turn out for a gay parade...including thousands and thousands of new Canadians with their children in tow...and everybody has a good know something AMAZING is happening.

The highlight of the parade for me?

The sight of Gareth Henry and his human rights contingent marching by to draw attention to the plight of gays and lesbians in Jamaica and other countries.

And the equally wonderful sight of gay soldiers marching in uniform for the very first time.

"The message to the public is that the Canadian Forces is an employer of choice. We have employment opportunities that people can pursue, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation...."

Good for them.

And good for the Toronto police too. For being super cool and friendly. And for handing out red stickers with the letters RHVP or Report Homophobic Violence Period.

Which my lucky teddy is now wearing...

To remind me that once the party is over, the struggle against bigotry continues.

My greatest disappointment? Not being able to meet Gareth Henry and shake his hand. But you try to find someone in a crowd of more than a million.Good luck.

As for The Video....making it was harder than I thought. Standing there for three hours in the muggy heat trying not to faint from dehydration ......or hunger.

Only to get back and discover that something ....probably a shot from a supersoaker... had crapped out the audio track.

So I covered the video with the classic Sister Sledge song which sums up how I feel about my LGBT brothers and sisters all over the world...

Oh well....I guess you just had to be there to feel the excitement.

And the heat....

Did I mention I'm thinking of switching my account to the TD Bank?

Seriously though....Pride Day was MORE than awesome. I had a fabulous time AND I got to have a rack of BBQ ribs and an iced coffee for 6pm. Bonus.

And the best thing is after a full year of rest I'm sure I'll have the strength to do it all over again.

Thanks to all the gay and straight people, and the heroic volunteers, who made Pride Day such a success.

It was a great party. But now it's over.

And the struggle continues...


  1. Hey Simon,

    Welcome home and Happy Birthday fellow Canadian.


  2. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Loved what you said about the crowd--quoted you in my blog.

  3. Hi Sassy !! And Happy Birthday to you too!! It's great to be back. There's nothing like being away for a while to make you appreciate Canada even more.
    I shouldn't be so impulsive but thta's what happens when you lead with the heart instead of the head :)

  4. Hi Jessica !! Thanks for the link and the nice comment. It really was amazing.I have never seen so many of the city's ethnic groups turn out and there were gazillions of kids having fun too. It just blew my mind.All that work has not been in vain. Progress is slow but we're heading in the right direction. BTW I checked out your blog and it's EXCELLENT. I wish I could be that thoughtful ...and concise. And when I did strike a thoughtful note I didn't ruin it by being my stoopid self. But I'm working on it :)