Major Rob Ford might not be taking part in the annual Pride Festival, but at the University of Toronto, we’ve got some pride. Here’s the breakdown for the uninitiated: the Toronto Pride Festivals an annual celebration of the LGBTTIQQ2SA communities. Pride Toronto is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to create a safe space to allow communities to celebrate their sexuality through a week of arts and cultural events, culminating in the annual Pride Parade on July 3rd starting at 2pm. There is also a Dyke March on July 2nd and a Trans March on July 1st. Otherwise, the Village (pretty much the area around Church Street and Wellesley Street) will be hopping with a street festival, bands playing, and lots of other fun stuff.
There’s our U of T contingent marching in the Pride Parade last year!
Around 1.2 million people come to Pride every year. It’s a big deal and a really good time. (Believe me, this will be my second year in attendance, and I can’t wait!) And because U of T never wants to be left out of the party, we represent the diversity of the LGBTTIQQ2SA communities at our school with our own slew of events. A Pride Committee organized by the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office is made up of staff, students and faculty. The co-chairs of this year’s Pride Committee are Sophia Kesik, Christine Hsu and Pallavi Furesan. If you’re interested in getting involved with the committee their meetings are advertised on the Sexual & Gender Diversity website, and you can always contact them next year to get involved with the organization of U of T’s pride events!
Rain or shine, U of T students will be sending their contingency to the Pride Parade. (This year there will be a student samba band, and a marching band made up of entirely engineering students!) So, without further ado, here is…
YOUR GUIDE TO U OF T PRIDE:
Monday, June 27th, 2-4pm UofT Pride Mob, Varsity Centre Free
Close your eyes for a second. No wait, scratch that, you won’t be able to read my post if you do that. OK, keep your eyes open and read my glorious words. Now, imagine students, packed into the Varsity Centre. Imagine them dancing, a beautiful dance all in sync. Alright, can you see them? Is it awesome? (If it isn’t, you just don’t have a good enough imagination. Go read some Roald Dahl, and then get back to me.) OK, now stop dreaming, START DOING. Show up at 2pm at the Varsity Centre, learn some sweet Zumba moves, and show off U of T’s support for pride.
Monday, June 27th, 4:30-6:30pm
Pre-Pride Party, 4th Floor Lounge, 21 Sussex
Feeling creative? Drop by the party to pick up a t-shirt, decorate signs, socialize, and make plans for the parade. A great space to get to know other people passionate and involved with Pride, as well as to score some free food.
Wednesday, June 29th, 5:30pm-1am The Pride Pub, Hart House Quad $10 before 9pm, $5 after 9pm (This is a 17+ event, and ID is required)
Meet people! Eat delicious barbecue! Dance! The event is open to all students, employees, alumni and community.
Sunday, July 3rd, 1:30pm Pride Parade, Meet up on Rosedale Valley Road at Bloor Free
Imagine fan-fare, music, hundreds, thousands, millions of people cheering for you as you prance down Yonge street to the beat of a rocking samba band. This too, could be yours. All are welcome to join the parade, or even just enjoy and cheer from the sidelines!
See you all there?