Meet the people that make up Pride Toronto!
Pride Toronto Staff
Sherwin Modeste (No pronouns), Executive Director
Bobby MacPherson (They/Them), Director of Operations
Amit Kumar (He/Him), Finance Manager
Lee Hamilton (She/Her), Operations & Logistics Manager
Marvin (He/Him), Operations Coordinator
Freya Selander (They/Them/It/Its), Education & Volunteer Manager
Casey Danielle Bas (She/Her), Volunteer Curator
Nipuni Dhanawardana (She/Her), Executive Administration Manager
Michelle Simeon (She/Her), Office Assistant
Dania Niles (She/Her), Community Engagement Manager
Derek Kang (He/Him), Visual Art & Events Coordinator
Jose David Pérez Cabrera (He/Him), Development & Operations Coordinator
James Arrow (No pronouns), Marketing Manager
Rolyn Chambers, (He/Him), Social Media & Graphic Design Coordinator
Dakota McGovern (He/Him), Accessibility Curator
Hannah Glover (She/Her), Grant & Fund Development Manager
Jamie Nicholson (Any/No pronouns), Programming & Events Manager
Mykel Hall (He/Him), Programming Curator
Tara Flint (She/Her), Programming & Events Coordinator
Pride Toronto Board of Directors
To contact the Board of Directors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Gonzales (He/Him) - Co-Chair
Grant is the Co-Chair of Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors, serving since February 2021, and has served as a Director on the Board since September 2020.
His governance priorities include strategic planning, financial oversight, policy development and reviews, board management and coordination, engaging in meaningful advocacy, supporting year-round community programming, and providing strategic advice to the Executive Director.
He is a government and stakeholder relations professional, with 10 years of experience. An active community member, Grant is a former President of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre and is a Co-Founder of the Filipino Canadian Political Association. A civically engaged resident, he was a 2021 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow.
Grant participates in several 2SLGBTQI+ athletic leagues, including Downtown Dodgeball, Dodgeball Society, and the Toronto United Flag Football League. He is dad to Miko, a Samoyed troublemaker.
leZlie lee kam (gender mysterious) - Co-Chair
I am a world majority, Brown, Trini, Carib, Indo, Chinese, callaloo, differently-abled, queer, DYKE elder/SENIOR, celebrating 45 years of community activism. I live and work from an anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, intergenerational and intersectional perspective. I sit on numerous community and government committees, representing the voices of 2SLGBTQI + SENIORS. I am a workshop facilitator, event organizer and network /community connector. I believe it is essential that queer youth and queer seniors work together to support each other, especially now, during these very challenging times of the Covid pandemic. through collaboration, we can IMPROVE and SAVE our LIVES. my lived experience has shown me the importance of building grassroots community foundations. I enjoy doubles, dancing, dim sum, a cold beverage and a hot lime anytime, as my self-care. my EXISTENCE is my RESISTANCE!
Osmel B. Guerra Maynes (He/Him) - Treasurer
Osmel identifies as a Black queer man of Latin American descent. Osmel is a results-driven individual with over ten years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector working within membership-driven environments. Osmel is also a social justice activist with a focus on enhancing the inclusion of marginalized voices.
Osmel immigrated to Canada as an international student in 2003 to pursue a Political Science Degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Osmel has called Canada home for 10+ years. During his time working with 2SLGBTQ+ community-based organizations in Ontario, British Columbia and the Yukon, Osmel focused his work on advancing effective grassroots and province-wide social programming, enhancing the inclusion of marginalized voices, pushing for sound public policy, and overseeing effective strategic planning in the non-profit and charitable sectors.
Osmel is tirelessly looking for new ways to engage with his community, and always ensures that he provides a voice to all marginalized people, especially QTBIPOC folks. Osmel strongly believes in the power of inclusion to affect lasting
Yuri Hernandez (They/Them) - Secretary
Yuri got their introduction to Pride Toronto in 2018, when they were offered a Volunteer Team Lead Position for the Pride Parade. They began their life in Cuba and immigrated to Canada in their teens. Yuri identifies as Non Binary and is incredibly committed to advocating for any/all marginalized communities. With a background in Community & Corporate Engagement and a diploma in Family and Community Services; What stands out about Yuri, is their process driven nature and ability to lead and engage corporate and community groups.Their spare time is mostly spent outdoors, lots of dog time and anything that involves smashing the patriarchy. Yuri’s goal during their time on the board is to increase the diversity within Pride Toronto by bringing communities together through their lived experience as well as their professional background.
Sheldon Dixon p.k.a D!XON is a Queer multi-racial gender non-conforming recording artist. D!XON has many years of experience in arts, and entertainment as a singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, video producer, and show producer. D!XON was also born and raised in Toronto and has been invested in the Church and Wellesley community for 10+ years.
D!XON has over 10 years of experience in community recreation programming and community development. In 2019 D!XON created the first Drag Masterclass in North America through his position with the City of Toronto which provided free professional training to the LGBTQ2S+ youth with mentors such as Sofonda, Priyanka, and Hollywood Jade. This masterclass provided job opportunities to marginalized professionals from our very own Church and Wellesley area and it also created job opportunities for the participants in the Masterclass. D!XON also sits on the Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Committee with the City of Toronto and has provided countless training centred around CABR and LGBTQ2S+ rights.
D!XON’s mission with pride is to amplify the voices of our local queer recording artists, implement equitable programming with artists in all artistic disciplines, and also be a voice for the Black and Afro/Indo Caribbean community. D!XON hopes to bring positive changes to Pride Toronto through his experience in the arts, entertainment, community recreation programming, and community development.
Samantha Fraser (She/Her)
Samantha Fraser is a proud pansexual femme real estate agent, living in Toronto’s Junction Triangle. Before becoming the local “Queerltor” as she’s known amongst clients, she built up 20 years experience working in membership organizations and non-profit event planning. Her goal at Pride is to leave the organization better than she found it, which she’s been doing since she first joined the board in January 2020. Samantha is the founder and executive producer of Playground; an intersectional sexuality, gender, and wellness focused Toronto conference, founded in 2011 and released her first book on non-monogamy in 2013.Born in England, she loves traveling, antiquing, watching horror movies and Star Trek, and deals with multiple invisible mental and physical disabilities. She lives with her husband and several rescue cats and believes that leopard print is a neutral. When not helping clients fight against crooked landlords, decorating a house for sale, or working on her second book, you can find her dreaming of future projects on the Internet at 2 am when she probably should be sleeping.
ماهر سنّو Maher Sinno (They/He)
Maher (ماهر) immigrated to Tkaronto in 2014 and has acquired a double major in Peace, Conflict & Justice studies & Theatre with a minor in Psychology. Through the research, Maher has centered decolonization & anti-oppression. Maher has since focused on their artistic journey, collaborating with organizations such as Buddies in Bad Times & Theatre Passe Muraille as an Outreach Coordinator. Maher currently works with ASAAP (Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention) and volunteers for ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) particularly in sexual health and harm reduction. Maher has served on the Collegium board for St Michael’s College as one of the first out queer & Arab members. In 2016, Maher also served as a Peace Educator in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. Currently, Maher is developing the Voices of Diversity poetry collective.
Moka May Dawkins (She/Her)
Moka is a Black & Indigenous racialized trans/2s freedom fighter who experienced racial identity profiling and transphobia by the Toronto Police and Ontario’s provincial and federal judicial systems back in 2015. After nearly 5 years of incarcerated activism, Moka in her regained freedom continues to confront injustices of the lack of civil protective legislations and it’s homogeneous effects for racialized peoples with sexual differing identities. With current lgbt2s+ societal & political issues of violence and murders on the rise; Moka’s target focus of educational awareness is furthering knowledge on positive integrated communications between races with the removal of exisiting predjudice relations towards Black, Indigenous, lgbtq2s+ communities.
Moka’s accomplishments include lead advisor in the 2018 reformative policies within Ontario’s provincial correctional system; in regards to the equity & equality policy on gender identity rights which now includes access to gender affirming canteen items for trans people being detained in gender opposed prisons. Along with a 2020 and 2021 Person Of The Year nomination with Inspire Awards; Moka in April of 2023 has graduated from her full time studies with Centennial College in the Community and Justice Services program. She currently works part time as a Research and Development Specialist with Toronto Metropolitan University. Moka’s work resume excels with a Board of Director position with Pride Toronto and Pride Toronto 2022 Trans Ambassador. Alongside that, Moka started her own not-for-profit & podcast T-Time Tips Productions which offers transitional health wellness and lifestyle advice to peoples undergoing hormonal therapy. T-Time Tips podcast is available exclusively at www.t-timetips.ca.
You can catch more of Moka and some of her life experiences in her reality life and death documentary “Surviving The Block” which depicts the 2015 life and death stab attack and attempted murder violence Moka survived from while being accused of murder from the Toronto’s Police Services. Surviving the Block is now available on OUT T.V. Surviving the Block is now available on OUT T.V. Moka is available for panel bookings/ guest lecture presentations and protest speech bookings by Email: email@example.com or online at www.mokadawkins.com.
Natasha "Courage" Bacchus (She/Her)
I am Courage, Natasha Cecily Bacchus. I am an athlete and performing artist, passionate about Deaf advocacy, fitness and physical expression. Throughout my life, I have nurtured my passion for fitness, competing as a professional athlete and securing medal positions in the Deaf Olympics, Pan Am Olympics and many other competitive sporting events. As an actress, I have participated in numerous theatre and film productions and have a strong desire to continue to grow and develop as a performing artist, expanding representation to include differently-abled persons and empowering Black Deaf women in Canada to shine on and off the stage.
Nirmalan Vijeyakumar (He/Him)
Nirmalan is a queer South Asian man, having grown up in Toronto, with strong roots in the Malvern community of Scarborough. Nirmalan is currently a Project Manager with the City of Toronto, and holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University.
Nirmalan has contributed his time to the 2SLGBTQ+ community in a number of ways, from providing event support for Pride Toronto, to providing refugee settlement services for Rainbow Railroad. Nirmalan is keen to advocate for equity deserving groups and has previously volunteered with the not-for-profit group, TTCriders. With his help, TTCriders was successful in advocating for a number of changes for transit users, including the introduction of two-hour transfers. Nirmalan has experience as a media spokesperson, working on policies, managing projects, and lobbying government officials.
Troy Dunn (He/Him)
Troy has been closely connected in the Canadian retail & tech industry for over 20 years. In 2005, Troy joined Apple to launch Apple Retail in Canada and continues to lead Apple Retail, which includes retail stores, small and medium business teams and in-store educational offerings. With stores across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver, Troy continues to stay connected to communities and local issues across the country.
He has a passion for I&D work and has become a leader and ally across many different diversity networks at Apple including: Pride@Apple for North America. He is best known for leading the retail growth that Apple has seen in Canada, for his ability to connect with his teams and his passion for his country and community.
Troy is proud to be Indigenous from the Bras d’Or First Nation and has spent many years on a personal journey of reflection, education and understanding which he instills in his four wonderful children.