The weather for queer performer-turned-mayoral-candidate Keith Cole’s first annual MILF Diaper Toss, held Sunday morning at Yonge-Dundas Square, is certainly less than ideal; cold, dreary, and overcast, the atmosphere seems to melt into the concrete gray of the square itself. Which, of course, is the point of the event in the first place.
“It’s ugly,” says Cole, gesturing broadly to his surroundings. He bends over to pet a three-legged dog who has begun to howl, seemingly in agreement, and sympathetically coos, “I know, Mo. It is so ugly, isn’t it?”
Cole organized the diaper toss in protest, inviting “All MILF’s [sic] and MILF supporters” to “join us as we take back the square and demand greenery in that concrete bowl of advertising and ugliness!” Cole explains that the idea was inspired by a friend who had reasoned that the presence of greenery in the square would encourage mothers to come change their babies’ diapers in the square, and then toss the dirty diapers into the plants.
Recalling the exchange, Cole rolls his eyes. “My reaction was, ‘Really? Do you think women really do that?’” Thus, the symbolic toss (and subsequent retrieval) of diapers on the square was born.
While the event’s attendance could best be described as sparse, the gathering that does form for the occasion is enthusiastic and supportive of both Cole and his cause. Among the attendees are Hidden Cameras drummer John Power—freshly returned from his band’s European tour—and Kids on TV founding member John Cafferty, who has been working with high school students from around Toronto to tackle city improvement projects. As Cafferty explains, “The kids named [Yonge-Dundas Square] as the number one thing they wanted to change about the city. They want some animal topiaries around the perimeter, so that’s what they’re working on.”
And so, with a few words and a count to three, (clean) diapers are gleefully flung into the air for the sake of a greener public space.
Photos by Elizabeth Miller.