Friday, July 8, 2011

Part 1 of Toronto Pride 2011

Before I post this I really wish to thank Cass who is truly an angel for standing by me and continuing to give his support on maintaining this blog. Not only does he deserve the halo he refuses to go without on a daily basis but the wings he dons are most deserving. He’s the angel to my demon. Think I’ll corrupt him one day to adorning horns? Perhaps.

I would like to extend an apology for my untimely absence as well, but ‘stuff’ happens that’s beyond your control and life spins out of whack faster than you can mend it. I’m on the mend slowly, but it’s going to be a long road ahead of me yet. Rejection is my biggest fear and the culprit to all my problems in life. With the help of Derek my shrink I’m learning to deal. I won’t go into details as to the whys of it, but I’ve limited my internet usage to just this blog and updating Goodreads to keep up with all the books I’m going through. Without Goodreads I’d be lost. Otherwise do not seek what you shall not find. That would be me. I’m not here in body or in soul, but just a presence in the wings of the shadows.

Now on to what this post is really about… 

Pride Toronto's 2011 festival showcased a month of events, both official Pride events as well as Affiliate Events. The festival week began on Friday, June 24th and continued through to Sunday July 3rd 2011. I was there for it all.

The street festival began on Friday, July 1st, with a Trans March in the evening and a Trans Verse stage amongst others, and ran through to Sunday night 11 pm with entertainment on eight stages. On the Saturday afternoon the Dyke March moved down Yonge Street, and on Sunday was the most fabulous Pride Parade ever.

I couldn’t get over that there were more than one million people from all over. Some having fun with water guns, others flashing rainbow flags and wearing colourful beads, packed the streets of downtown Toronto. Dozens of multicoloured floats wound their way down Yonge Street. I had an excellent view of all my drag queen friends in all there makeup and glamour gowns and you can bet I whistled, waved and cheered them on for their elegance and beauty. There’s Devine Darling, Chantal Helena Carr, Heavenly Hites, Triple Threat, Ivory Towers and that’s to mention a few since there’s way too many. In fact, even the cops, firemen, army and paramedics wore the rainbow colours and took part in the parade. Very cool.

The weekend was one of unseasonably warm temperatures, too, meaning tank tops, some wore nothing at all and that’s not an understatement and squirt guns were once again de riguer after last year's cloudy weather and I was dumped on with a good bout of rain while waiting for the parade to start. Not kosher. The temperature in the city core peaked at about 31C which is 86F? around there. Am I sunburned? Hell yeah.
For three hours, much of Toronto's downtown was a mass of colour, confetti and flesh as a cornucopia of sexual expression cut through the heart of the city.

Toronto's Pride festivities have grown since their beginnings as a 1981 street demonstration opposing police raids of bathhouses. But Pride really only started for me in 2007 when my best buddy took me down to experience Pride for the very first time. I was enamored, glamoured, in completely awe by all the walks of life that attended Pride. The freedom they showed to come out and express themselves, to have that day where no matter whether you were gay, bi, trans, lesbian etc… this day was meant for YOU. To be who you are and not on just this given day but EVERY day.

This impacted me greatly and beyond belief. This is when I chose to come out of the closet for the very first time in my life. To not be afraid, open myself up to my friends, family, all who knew me. I’ve lost friends over it, but in the interim I’ve gained quite a few and more than to make up for the loss of those that showed their ignorance. This is what Pride represents to me. FREEDOM!

But this year? It was not all fun due to the devastating loss of a drag queen performer that went by the name Lady X. A year didn’t go by that I didn’t see her perform and she’ll be truly missed. You’ll find out more why in my Part 2 of this post which is dedicated to her as Pride was also dedicated to her this year. I’ve planted some pics I took this weekend and I hope you enjoy them all.   

 And here's a video that more than covers what I didn't get in pics.

To be continued...

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