A proud crowd marched down Yonge Street on Sunday, during a parade charged with renewed political purpose.
One of the wonderful things about the Pride Parade: we see our best selves in it, as a city. It is both cause and proof of our sense of Toronto as being noteworthy, more than anything, in its diversity and inclusivity. We are not, to be sure, as inclusive or diverse as we think we are, most of the time, but there are moments where we live up to that aspiration, and Pride is one of those moments. Even after going to the parade for years, it’s hard not to feel it as Ismaili Queers march by, followed by a float for Goodhandy’s, while a Chinese grandmother lunges for a string of green beads thrown into the crowd.
Anecdotally, it seemed that this year’s parade made good on one aspiration many in the queer community have been expressing: to put the politics back in Pride. We weren’t able to do an official by-the-numbers comparison with previous installments, but the parade felt more grassroots than it had in years: more local groups and handmade signs, fewer large corporate floats and the giant ad banners that drape them. There were the moments everyone had been bracing for—city councillors marching without Rob Ford, a (larger than expected) contingent from Queers Against Israeli Apartheid—but they didn’t define the day. Not even close.
We’ve captured some of the moments that did in the gallery above. (Note, some pictures in the gallery are NSFW.)