For the last 38 years, Toronto is overrun with all things rainbow and queer folks of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and labels to celebrate Pride for the entire month of June. And can we just say that y’all killed it this year? From June 21 to 23, Toronto saw thousands of attendees showcasing just how proud they are.
As we’re looking back at all we had to celebrate, we wanted to share some of our favourite moments and events. Here is our recap of Pride Toronto 2019:
Pride 2019 weekend kicked off as thousands of trans and non-binary marchers and their allies took to the streets. Toronto’s Trans March is one of the largest, most exciting Pride events in the world. This year, trans women of colour and people with different abilities were encouraged to lead the march.
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, it was more important than ever to assert the political roots of Pride from the start. The community came together in a show of solidarity and resistance against the hate and adversity against people of diverse gender identities in a display of pride.
We love a good political march full of dyke goddesses. On June 22nd, the 23rd annual Dyke March invited all self-identifying dykes, friends and allies to take over the streets of Downtown Toronto in another grassroots political demonstration.
Overall, the day was an opportunity to celebrate and honour WLW’s accomplishments throughout history, as well as their power, strength and passion. The march was a call for the recognition of the diversity of dyke experiences and identities, both of the present and the past.
The family resemblance is uncanny! But really though, this year’s Family Pride celebrated the strength and uniqueness of LGBTQ2+ families and children. For the entirety of Pride weekend, families were invited to come together to participate in a wide variety of activities such as crafts, sports, storytime, face painting and performances at Church Street Public School.
New this year was programming designed specifically for tweens and teens. Can you say fun for the whole family?
This year’s Drag Ball was definitely a crowd favourite where you could watch some of your favourite local and international drag queens serve up some Pride realness!
RuPaul’s Drag Race season eleven runner-up, Brooke Lynn Hytes headlined the show alongside some of her local sisters. Tynomi Banks was also featured, as well as the top three queens from Drag Race Thailand; Angele Anang, Kana Warrior and Kandy Zyanide. And, you guessed it, they SLAYED.
DJ Kitty Glitter closed out the night with an epic performance. Hey kitty girl!
Curated by Blackness Yes!, a collective of artists and activists from Toronto’s black queer and trans communities, Blockorama was an all-day musical event in the Village. This largest and longest-running stage at Pride Toronto has a rich history of activist-based art.
The show was comprised of 21 spotlights of local and international black performers, including headliner, Big Freedia. Other talented performers included Grammy award-winning R&B legend, Mýa, as well as local DJs including Blackcat, Nik Red, Craig Dominic, Carma and more.
The Toronto Pride Parade
Of course, we have to give a shoutout to one of the biggest, most anticipated events of the month: the annual Pride Parade. The weekend’s premiere event, more than 200 groups made up of thousands of marchers walked, danced and spread love down Yonge Street, making it one of the largest Pride Parades in North America!
The parade was bursting with wonderful performances, rainbow floats and marchers outfitted in their very best in order to celebrate and remember the journey our community has been through in the last 50 years.
We also can’t forget about our Grand Marshall; Gigi Gorgeous! Gigi left us gagging as she led the parade wearing the perfect outfit; a bodysuit in the colours of the trans flag and Barbie Doll pigtails. She was also this year’s Trans Ambassador and showed her support at the Trans March earlier in the weekend’s festivities.
Other significant queer folk and allies who attended include Prime Minister Daddy—oops, Justin Trudeau, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Toronto Mayor John Tory, among many more.
While the official Pride celebrations might only be for one weekend, showcasing our Pride as a community is a year-long bash. See you next year for Toronto’s 40th Pride weekend anniversary!