Everyone knows that I love living in Toronto (and if you didn’t, well, now you do!), but when asked specifically what I love about the city, I tend to get hit with a random case of amnesia. It’s kind of like being asked what your favourite band is, and for some reason you can only think of Linkin Park. Yeah — that kind of feeling.
This last week, however, I definitely didn’t have to think about why I love Toronto.
Two words: WorldPride 2014
Toronto isn’t just diverse — we celebrate our diversity. Being in my area of study (Social-Cultural Anthropology, Book & Media Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and Wikipedia), and being a minority individual, I’m so glad that I have the privilege of being able to live here.
And I’m ecstatic that mentality doesn’t stop anywhere you go downtown — especially at our university.
The very first thing I did, even before Pride Week officially started, was attend the U of T Pride Pub at Hart House with a few friends.
It was outrageous.
I mean, I’m not dumb (note: I can only attest to this by saying U of T accepted me) — I know our student body is diverse, but experiencing the Pride Pub showed me that as a university, we truly do have strength in numbers!
It was a beautiful night filled with Britney Spears music, lip-synching drag queens, Steam Whistle, and a whole lot of new faces for me to embarrass myself in front of.
Since the University of Toronto is a “no judgement zone,” I was able to simultaneously “dance” to C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” at the Pride Pub, while still having the pleasure of being invited to march as a part of the university group for the second year in a row!
Although it was literally boiling, having all my friends and peers around me while marching by thousands of equally happy spectators helped me not to have a heat stroke (this is scientifically proven). That, and we were walking through a military war field — if the war field was downtown Toronto, and the guns were water guns.
I didn’t know I could be more proud than I already am to go to the University of Toronto — but I truly am. 50 metric pounds of glitter, and a community that doesn’t just accepts you, but celebrates your differences with you. That is priceless. Unless you count the glitter; It was probably purchased at Costco. So almost priceless.
UofT, what did you do for WorldPride?